Alright, folks. Now is the time in Festival Season: Local Edition® that you really earn your stripes. If you thought it was hot during Oysterfest, you better start hydrating now for one of the final entrants in the nearly perpetual calendar of weekend-long musical celebrations. Back for it’s 11th year, Satchmo Summerfest is three days of free music, seminars and discussions celebrating the life, legacy and birthday of New Orleans’ Native Son, Louis Armstrong.
His birthday just so happens to fall during the most brutal stretch the Crescent City sees weather-wise; a time of year when the heat is so hilariously oppressive, the weekend’s other big to-do is a sweat-drenched stroll through the Arts District at which attendees are encouraged to dress in the light-colored natural fabric that was required attire before the advent of air conditioning. But if you are brave enough to head to the US Mint to battle the heat on Saturday and/or a White Linen Night hangover on Sunday you will find a cool assortment of traditional and contemporary jazz bands and vocalists performing on two stages flanked by over a dozen vendors doling out good eats and refreshing cocktails.
While you are there dancing along with Kermit Ruffins or catching some religion from the Preservation Hall All-Stars, don’t miss Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (Sunday, 4:00PM, Offbeat Stage). The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Los Hombres Calientes alum has perfected an inspired mix of trad, modern, and funked-out futuristic jazz that has earned him rave accolades both at his bi-weekly gig at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse and at nearly every major Jazz Festival in the country.