Louis Armstrong

By Miranda Chaffin

Biography

Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901. He didn't have the easiest home life growing up in new Orleans, his neighborhood was extremely poor and was nicknamed "The Battlefield". It didn't help that his father left his family right after he was born, turning his mom towards prostitution as a last resort. This left his grandmother to be the one to take care of him. Money was tight to say the least, so on top of all that he had grown up with, he had to drop out of school and work small jobs, anywhere he could find work, to support his family. The following year, on New Year's Day, Louis got a bit excited, and fired his uncles gun straight into the air. This got him some time at "The Colored Waif's Home for Boys" where he discovered what was to be his passion; the cornet ( a smaller, more mellow version of the trumpet ). This sparked a love of music and dreams of true musicianship in the 11 year old's heart that would, to his surprise, be realized. Throughout the decades, he would go on to change how jazz was seen, swing, blues, becoming known all around the world for his unique style. He joined many, and made many bands, composing classics with many different people such as "Swing That Music", "Jubilee", and of course his famous recording of "What a Wonderful World" that would go down as one of the most timeless classics there is to date.
Louis Armstrong at Newport Jazz Festival When the Saints Go Marching In

Questions

What emotions does his playing seem to bring up?


Do his upbringings and success inspire you to do something you love or are passionate about?