Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans on August 4th 1901 and not as he always claimed on July 4th 1900. He was the son of a factory worker and a cleaning maid. His parents separated shortly after his birth and he was soon send to a borstal when he misbehaved on New Year’s Eve showing his excitement by firing his father’s gun.

He started his musical career as a member in a school orchestra which played at funerals and parties. His first instrument was an old rusty cornet that he was being taught by a teacher at the borstal. The first orchestra he joined was led by Kid Ory a very famous trombone player who was considered the best in New Orleans at that time. When Louis walked by a parade one day and someone asked him to whom he was supposed to deliver the cornet he was carrying, he replied that it was his own cornet. No one believed him so he simply started to play. He was immediately invited to join the band. In 1919 when the Navy started to close down "Storyville" and most of the musicians went other places to find work, Louis insisted on staying in his home town. King Oliver telegraphed him in 1922 and Louis decided to leave anyway to join the orchestra of the man who still today is considered the second "King of Jazz" just like Louis Armstrong today is known as the third "King of Jazz".

One of his most famous bands was "The Louis Armstrong All Stars" band which consisted of Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard and Sid Catlett who all of them were really stars of the traditional Jazz. The musicians of his earlier bands "Hot Five" and "Hot Seven" were already well known Jazz personalities like Johnny Doods a trombone player, Kid Ory , Louis first employer and Earl Hines who even created a new piano style that made the piano equal to the brass instruments what still today enables pianists to make money with their instruments. Louis Armstrong was the first Jazz musician to combine emotional expressions and musical playing techniques making it impossible to explain wrongly played notes with the vitality and originality of Jazz music. He managed to unite European organisation materials such as the stuff, accords or time with African, New Orleans and gospel rhythms and also added "Blue Notes" from Blues music. Swing was not really accepted in the early New Orleans times, it could be used but it was not necessary. It was made obligatory by Louis Armstrong who therefor quit using the rhythms of "Ragtime". Louis had also a quite pleasant voice and sang great duets with Ella Fitzgerald.

Concluding from all of what Louis Armstrong introduced to Jazz music he still today is seen as a Jazz revolutionist.