H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Louis Armstrong was
born in New Orleans into extreme
poverty. He learned to play the cornet while serving a
sentence for delinquency. After eight years of playing
in clubs and on riverboats, Armstrong moved to Chicago
to join Joe King Olivers Creole Jazz Band.
In Chicago, Armstrong
switched from cornet to the more
brilliant-sounding trumpet. He created a sophisticated form of
improvisation whose uninhibited tone, range and rhythm
revolutionized modern music. He also began his trademark scat
singing, using his voice as an instrument with nonsense syllables.
In 1925, he married
pianist and composer Lil Hardin and they bought
a home at 421 East 44th Street. Hardin-Armstrong was a pianist
and bandleader as well as a member of Armstrongs Hot Five.
Together, Louis and Lil composed many classic jazz tunes.
By the late 1920s, Armstrong
began touring internationally. He spent
the next few decades as a soloist and singer with various big bands,
and appeared in more than 50 films.