Musician Series: Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1901. He grew up in poverty and when he was 12 years old, he was sent to a home for juvenile delinquents. It was there he learned how to play the cornet, an instrument similar to a trumpet. He was a naturally skilled musician and soon played in marching bands and jazz bands.
In 1922, Armstrong was asked to play in the Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band in Chicago. He recorded his first solos as a member of the band and also met his wife, Lil Hardin, the band’s pianist.
From 1925-28 he created some of his most important works as an early solo artist.
Armstrong’s superb musical talent, innovative style, and impressive technique made major innovations to the genre of jazz.
By 1929 he was famous, and traveled the United States and Europe as a trumpet soloist accompanied by big bands.
Armstrong’s style also influenced the genre of swing, and many musicians sought to emulate his playing style.
Louis Armstrong died on July 6, 1971 in New York City. He is still widely regarded as one of the most influential jazz artists of all time.
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