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Louis Armstrong

             Louis Armstrong was born in one of the poorest neighborhoods in New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 4, 1901. Marc Miller, who is a Historian, says that Louis Armstrong was "a hard-working kid who helped support his mother and sister by working every type of job there was, including going out on the street corners at night to sing for coins." By the time he was the age of seven, he was able to buy his first horn, which was a cornet. At just the tender young age of eleven, the juvenile court sent him away to a home for shooting a pistol. .
             At the home (Jones Home for Colored Waifs) is where he began his first music lessons, and also played in the brass band. He stayed in the Jones home for approximately a year in a half. After leaving the home, Armstrong supported himself by playing with pick-up bands and in clubs with Joe "King" Oliver who was his mentor. At the time there were very few musicians in New Orleans. During this time Joe Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Sidney Bechet were creating a different type of music out of blues and ragtime.
             By the 1920's Louis Armstrong was recognized when he left New Orleans to go to Chicago to play in Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. After his success with the band, he moved to New York where he had a great impact on the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra with new musical vocabulary and improvisation. From these facts along, one can see that Armstrong was very successful during his life time.
             In 1926 Louis Armstrong returned to Chicago. He was the head liner in jazz clubs, radio, and records. Audiences were very amazed by the way he played his trumpet. Many musicians began to study his recordings to hear what a horn was able to do. Armstrong has been said to use his horn to sound like a singer's voice, and he used his voice to sound like a musical instrument. I would have loved to been in the audience of one of his performances to witness that kind of spectacular event.

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