COOLYULE! Tree Lighting Ceremony Set for the Louis Armstrong House Museum Today
The Louis Armstrong House Museum presents CoolYule! today, December 6, 2014 to welcome the holiday season. CoolYule! is the museum's first tree lighting ceremony featuring live jazz with Ben Flocks Trio and holiday treats. CoolYule! is free and open to the public. Downbeat for Ben Flocks Trio begins at 4:00 pm. The tree will be lit at 4:30pm in the Armstrong's Japanese inspired garden."Our neighbors on 107th Street have told us how Lucille Armstrong used to have a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the garden, which everyone on the block, especially the kids, looked forward to seeing." says Michael Cogswell, Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. "Beginning this year, we are re-starting Lucille's wonderful tradition." CoolYule! officially kicks off the museum's annual holiday house tours. The Armstrong's house will be brightly decorated for the holidays and historic house tours will feature rare audio clips from Louis's personal recordings of himself and family Christmas celebrations at home. Visitors can listen to Louis's magical voice reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas (A Visit from St. Nicholas)". This recording was the last recording he ever made before he died later that year. He recorded it at home in his den on February 26, 1971. The museum's holiday tour will feature excerpts of unedited and never-before issued segments of the recording in Louis's den - where they were originally recorded 43 years ago. Cogswell observed that, "Visitors, while standing in Louis's living room, hear Louis opening Christmas presents and hear Louis singing along with Nat King Cole's hit recording of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth. It's just as if you are celebrating Christmas with Louis and Lucille! Where else can you do that?" CoolYule! tree lighting is named in honor of Louis's "Cool Yule" recording which was written by famed comedian and musician Steve Allen and recorded by Louis in 1953 for Decca Records. In recent years, it has become arguably his most popular Christmas recording, used frequently in films and on television. The museum's historic house tour is a 40-minute, guided interpretive tour of the only preserved home of a jazz legend in the world. It tells the story of the meteoric rise of one of the greatest musicians of all time. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is a National Historic Landmark and New York City Landmark. All of the furnishings are original, giving the feeling that Louis and Lucille just stepped out for some eggnog. Unique Holiday Gifts - The Louis Armstrong House Museum Store is the perfect destination for unique holiday gifts to jazz up the holiday season. New this year, the museum is the only brick and mortar retailer worldwide that sells the critically acclaimed nine CD Mosaic boxed set: The Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars. It's annotated by the museum's Archivist, Ricky Riccardi. The Wall Street Journal says it's Louis Armstrong's "Renaissance on Record" Another exclusive treasure is the Louis Armstrong Ambassador Series CDs from Sweden, which contain rare and previously unreleased recordings. The Ambassador CDs feature Louis Armstrong on the radio, Louis live at Carnegie Hall, Louis with Benny Goodman's sextet, Louis jamming with Fats Waller and much more. The museum is the world's sole distributor of Ambassador CDs. The Museum Store's CD collection also includes: Satchmo at Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: The Complete Performances, a legendary concert issued in complete form for the very first time thanks to the Museum's Gösta Hägglöf Collection, and Louis Armstrong - The OKeh, Columbia and RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933, a 10-CD set featuring Armstrong's most famous early recordings in one box. The Museum Store features many one-of-a-kind gifts including Armstrong T-shirts, caps, tote bags, and a "West End Blues" Frisbee that looks like a 78-record. Books, children's books, CDs, and DVDs provide one-stop shopping for "everything Armstrong." Foodies will be delighted to learn that the museum is the northeast's exclusive distributor of "Jazzmen Rice" (an aromatic jasmine rice grown in Louisiana), which displays a picture of Armstrong on the front of the bag along side Louis and Lucille's recipe card for red beans 'n rice. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, New York. The museum is open Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm. No reservations are necessary for individuals but groups of 8 or more should call 718.478.8274 or visit LouisArmstrongHouse.org to make a reservation. Parking is available within the neighborhood and the museum is accessible by subway via the 7 Train. Admission is $10.00, $7.00 for seniors, students and children and free LAHM members and children under 4. Groups with reservations enjoy a discount on admission. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is closed on all Mondays and the following Holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. It is always open on the 4th of July, in honor of Louis's traditional birthday. About the Louis Armstrong House Museum - Thanks to the vision and funding of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes visitors from all over the world, six days per week, 52 weeks per year. The Louis Armstrong House Museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Association of African American Museums, Museums Council of New York City, New York State Museums Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, NYC & Co., and the Queens Tourism Council. The museum is a constituent of Kupferberg Center for the Arts and a cultural institution of Queens College, CUNY.