Louis Armstrong and Civil Rights

Louis Armstrong may be THE most important figure in Jazz history. His contributions range from introducing the importance of the Jazz soloist to the form of Jazz phrasing that was the bedrock for everything that came afterward and still feels modern today.

Less well known are the strong views Armstrong held on Civil Rights. In NJW’s Jazz on the Move presentation on “The Life and Music of Louis Armstrong,” trumpeter Jamey Simmons discusses Armstrong’s record on Civil Rights and leads an all-star ensemble in some of the Jazz icon’s most famous music. The short video clip here features this discussion and sections of “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue” and “West End Blues.”