*The 2018 Louis Armstrong House Museum Annual Gala, held January 23 at Capitale in New York City, was a wonderful prelude to the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, which were held in New York for the first time in 15 years.
The event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of songwriters Bob Thiele and George David Weiss’ popular classic “What a Wonderful World,” along with Louis and Lucille Armstrong’s many significant contributions to music and entertainment, and raised more than $230,000.
Funds will benefit the construction of the museum’s new 14,000-square-foot Louis Armstrong House Museum Education Center, which will include a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery, 68-seat jazz club, and museum store, and serve as a new home for the Louis Armstrong Archives, which are currently housed at Queens College.
This year’s gala featured a silent auction, a cocktail hour and seated dinner with distinguished guests including Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General; Francisco Moya, New York City Councilman and Board Trustee (21st district); Jerome (Jerry) Chazen, philanthropist and Board Trustee; Joanna Holland, widow of the late Johnny Carson; Robert O’Meally, founder of the Center for Jazz Studies at New York University; Stephen Maitland-Lewis, author and Board Trustee; Catherine Russell, Grammy-winning jazz singer, and special guests of the jazz and entertainment community.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum Gala honored multiple award-winning jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon with the organization’s signature Louie Award. During the ceremony, Gordon was joined by the InterSchool Orchestras of the New York Wind Symphony to perform “What a Wonderful World” in a style reminiscent of the original 1967 big band recording. Armstrong’s recording of “What a Wonderful World” was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Also honored at the gala were the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and Michael Cogswell, the longtime Louis Armstrong House Museum Executive Director.
After the ceremony, Gordon, along with his acclaimed International All-Stars, returned to the stage and serenaded the guests with a memorable performance of jazz standards and classics.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located in the culturally diverse neighborhood of Corona, Queens, in New York City. To learn more about the museum and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, please visit: https://www.louisarmstronghouse.org/.