Even the most simple things about Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971) aren't easy or clear. Armstrong's history was as colorful as the trumpeter whose sound introduced Jazz to the world, broke racial barriers, and reshaped modern American music. He is, arguably,not just the most prominent jazz musician of all time, but the most important world musician to all modern music, from Rock to Rap, because he broke the collectivism of band/orchestra music and made the soloist iconic.


Armstrong was one of the most featured jazz musicians in film and early television around the world. For a full library of video clips of Satchmo, click the link below...

Louis Armstrong - Hello Dolly Live

Louis Armstrong - Hello Dolly Live

Hello Dolly performed for a live television event in Europe.

Dizzy Gillespie & Louis Armstrong - Umbrella Man

Dizzy Gillespie & Louis Armstrong - Umbrella Man

Rare footage of Dizzy Gillespie & Louis Armstrong performing together.

Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In

Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In

When the Saints Go Marching In



Louis Armstrong's discography spans the history of Jazz for almost a century, and his recorded works are the leading edge of all popular recorded American and world music.

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Louis Armstrong was a colorful character who told a lot of tall-tales about his early years. He was a historic figure in world music, one of the most gifted trumpeters in Jazz, and a cultural icon who found his fame used by others both positively and negatively in the struggle for African-American equality during his lifetime.

Armstrong loved telling stories and eating well. He was obsessed with his bodily functions. He was financially generous. He loved working with children, and he gave of his time and money to charities and to selected political and social causes.

His is one of the most fascinating subjects in American biographies, told time and again by biographers because of his abilities and that need to narrate a definitive history of his life.



Louis Armstrong's career spans music and the mass media.  See the sub headings below for a a complete breakdown of his professional life in the arts.


Armstrong gained fame as a horn player, then later became better known as a bandleader, vocalist, musical ambassador and founding figure of modern American music. There would be no jazz or rock-and-roll without the changes to the foundations of American music and popular culture that his work and his national popularity brought about.

As a virtuoso trumpet player, Armstrong had a unique tone and an extraordinary talent for melodic improvisation. Through his playing, the trumpet emerged as a solo instrument in jazz and is used widely today in many genres of music.

He was a masterful accompanist and ensemble player in addition to his extraordinary skills as a soloist. With his innovations, he raised the bar musically for all who came after him.



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With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes.

He was also the father of popularized scat singing, vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics.

Cultural IconEdit

Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular culture in general around the world.


Louis Armstrong - Danny Kaye

Louis Armstrong - Danny Kaye

Louis Armstrong personally appeared in more than a hundred films, television and radio programs. ? His music has lived on in films made during his lifetime like "Hello, Dolly!" to the futuristic Pixar film Wall•E.


Louis Armstrong has received hundreds of honors and accolades, over his lifetime and in the decades after his passing.



Louis Armstrong is and was an iconic figure. There are hundreds of magazine covers, advertisements and photographs that bear his likeness.  

He was one of the first black artists to appear regularly on national and international magazines, promote products, and merchandise his likeness in an extremely segregated America.




Louis Armstrong's house in Queens has been named a national landmark.

Aside from his vast collection of recorded works, Louis Armstrong left his imprint on movies, television, and has had a number of other posthumous honors bestowed upon him.

The house in New York where Louis Armstrong lived, at 34-56 107th Street (between 34th and 37th Avenues) Corona, Queens, for close to 28 years was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and is now a museum.



Louis Armstrong is perhaps one of the most chronicled musicians in the history of world music. It's so big it has its own section.