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New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

National Park News

New Orleans Jazz NHP, in partnership with the French Market Corporation (City of New Orleans) and the Uptown Youth Jazz Orchestra (a nonprofit educational partner), hosted the third annual “Seeking Satch” student trumpet contest Saturday August 4th, in JAZZ's recently opened Performing Arts Venue at the Old U.S. Mint, a partnership with the Louisiana State Museum. It was the opening event of two days of seminars by national experts, and academics on the history and cultural contributions and legacy of Louis Armstrong, organized by the Louis Armstrong Foundation and the University of New Orleans.

Designed to showcase and support young local musicians, and named in honor of native son Louis Armstrong the competition is designed to keep New Orleans jazz traditions alive.  For the 1st time, it was held during the annual Satchmo SummerFest, a time when all eyes and ears will be tuned in to Armstrong’s great musical legacy  

The competition featured three student trumpet players from grades 10 through 12, who showed their chops and competed for prizes and the honorary title of “the next Louis Armstrong.” The first place winner will received a custom engraved trumpet and two paid performances, the second place winner a cash prize and a paid performance, and the third place a cash prize.  Considering we only had three contestants this year, no one is a loser.  All were invited to perform at the Satchmo SummerFest culminating festival performance known as the “Trumpet Tribute.”

Judges for the contest were Director of the Uptown Youth Jazz Orchestra trombonist, producer, educator and composer Delfeayo Marsalis of the internationally renowned, and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Marsalis Family; Wendell Brunious an accomplished and well known New Orleans trumpet player and band leader; Herlin Riley, drummer Extraordinaire and formerly of the Wynton Marsalis Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Our contestants were: 1st place winner John Michael Bradford, 10th grade; 2nd place Glen P. Hall 12th grade; and third place Gregory Gabb 12th grade.

Mr. Marsalis states his vision for our annual program, ""Mentoring has always been an important element in jazz.  Louis Armstrong learned firsthand from older musicians such as King Oliver and Kid Ory, sharing the bandstand and creating collective masterpieces.  In this same tradition, all Seeking Satch participants will have the opportunity to perform with a trio of professional musicians in a culminating performance."

We intend to grow this program and broaden its outreach the city schools and their musical programs.  The school band programs in New Orleans are robust! True New Orleans jazz music is still passed on from one generation to the next, in the neighborhoods, by teaching and mentoring eager new talent.  Education of, and preserving the jazz traditions of New Orleans is the park's mission since 1998.  Over the years the park staff has done truly meaningful community engagement in meeting that mission. Every Saturday we have the "Music For All Ages" program.  Bring your instrument, drop in, and learn from the old school.  Maybe I should try out.  It says All Ages.


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