Louis Armstrong House Museum Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month with Portraits, House Tours

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To celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) Historic House Tours will highlight one-of-a-kind portraits featured in Louis and Lucille's home by noted artists: Calvin Bailey, Tony Bennett, Samuel Countee and LeRoy Neiman throughout the month of April.

Jazz Appreciation Month is an initiative sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. It is designed to draw greater public attention to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz and its importance as an American cultural heritage.

LAHM's Portraits in Jazz Tour will run through the month of April 2012. The historic house tour by trained docents is a 40-minute, guided interpretive tour of the only preserved home of a jazz legend in the world.

Come visit Louis's house. Hear his voice through rare recordings throughout the tour. It's an intimate visit as if you can sit down and have a cup of coffee with Satchmo himself, press notes state. In addition to the featured portraits, learn about Louis and his meteoric ride as one of the greatest musicians of our time.

The Louis Armstrong House Museum is a National Historic landmark and New York City landmark. All of its furnishings are original.

"The Portraits in Jazz Tour given this month feature these brilliant portraits and how they connect to the fabric of Louis and Lucille's life," noted Michael Cogswell, LAHM Director. "We are fortunate to have the home of a modern American icon right here in Queens, New York," he added.

Featured Portraits

Louis Armstrong by Calvin Bailey: Calvin Bailey was a prominent African-American artist from California, born in 1915. Featured in Jet magazine as "the artist and caricaturist of film stars." He painted Louis's portrait in 1948, basing it off of an Anton Bruehl photograph of Louis that appeared in Vanity Fair in November 1935.

Lucille Armstrong by Samuel Countee: Samuel Countee, an African American Artist from Texas, was a rising star among Black Artists. One of his noteworthy works is a mural for the Black officers club at Fort Leonard, Missouri that stands as a symbol of the African American military experience during WWII.

Gerry Mulligan by LeRoy Neiman: LeRoy Neiman is a world-renowned artist and one of the most popular living artists in the United States. Neiman's portrait work has been praised for capturing the idiosyncratic characteristics of his subjects. Notable other portraits by Neiman include: Muhammad Ali; Leonard Bernstein; Suzanne Farrell; Bobby Hull; Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, and Sammy Davis Jr., in performance at the Royal Albert Hall, in London; Tom Seaver and Reggie Jackson, for the Baseball Hall of Fame; Sylvester Stallone and Tommy Tune.

Louis Armstrong by Tony Bennett: International superstar and artist, Tony Bennett painted this portrait of Louis, signing his real name "Benedetto" in the lower right corner. He presented it to Louis when the two were in London in October 1970 for a benefit concert hosted by David Frost. Louis's response to seeing it was, "Man, you out-Rembranted, Rembrandt!"

Louis Armstrong House Museum Exhibition

The Louis Armstrong House Museum holds several collections of photographs, sound recordings, letters, manuscripts, instruments and artifacts, making it the largest publicly held archival collection in the world devoted to a jazz musician.

Planning Your Visit

The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Avenue in Corona, Queens. The museum is open Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm. Guided 40-minute house tours start every hour on the hour. The last tour of the day is at 4:00 pm. The gift shop, exhibit area and garden can be explored before or after the tour. No reservations are necessary for individuals but groups of 8 or more should call ahead to reserve at 718.478.8274.

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 for 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, the date when Louis's birthday is traditionally celebrated.

School and tourist groups are encouraged. Reservations can be made at
www.LouisArmstrongHouse.org.