The concert will feature Workman’s Ensemble, New Orleans saxophonist Calvin Johnson & Native Son, a second line parade, and will be free. WBGO’s Gary Walker will serve as master of ceremonies.
The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation (LAEF) is set to present Reggie Workman, a world-renowned bassist, composer, bandleader, educator, and NEA Jazz Master, with the esteemed Satchmo Award. The award recognizes Workman’s seven-decade contribution to jazz musicianship and education. The award ceremony will occur at the WBGO’s Kids Jazz Concert Series at Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd., on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 11:00 AM.
The Satchmo Award, named after Louis Armstrong’s nickname, is a tribute to his enduring legacy. It celebrates artists like him who have devoted their lives to jazz. Workman is the thirteenth award recipient, with previous winners including Herb Alpert, Sheila Jordan, Ron Carter, and Jimmy Heath. The concert is free, but a child must accompany adults. It features Reggie’s Workman Current Creation for Armstrong, his six-piece ensemble. The ensemble comprises pianist David Virelles, drummer Gary Jones III, alto saxophonist Marvin Carter, rap vocalist J Swiss, and tap dance pioneer Savion Glover. Born in Philadelphia in 1937, Workman worked with John Coltrane’s band and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early sixties. He is among the most sought-after bassists in jazz history, having recorded over 150 albums with jazz stars such as Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Wayne Shorter, Yusef Lateef, Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy, and Geri Allen. He has recorded eleven albums as a leader, including his 2004 release, Witch’s Scream. He leads The Reggie Workman Ensemble, co-leads the group Trio Three with Oliver Lake and Andrew Cyrille, and has performed in various musical settings. He is a professor at The New School College of Performing Arts (COPA) and was awarded a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship for music composition. He was also named an NEA Jazz Master the same year.
Also featured in the concert is the New Orleans tenor/soprano saxophonist Calvin Johnson, who leads his group Native Son (named after Richard Wright’s novel) consisting of trumpeter/vocalist Andrew Baham, trombonist Jeffrey Miller, drummer Darrian Douglas, bass drummer Errol Lanier, pianist Andrew McGowan, bassist Nori Naraoka and John Altieri on sousaphone. The scion of a musical family, Johnson is a graduate of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) and was a student of the late Edward “Kidd” Jordan. He has performed with Harry Connick, Jr. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band Aaron Neville and many other New Orleans musicians. Johnson appeared in the HBO series Treme; his latest recording is Notes of a Native Son.
The concert concludes with a soulful Second Line parade befitting. The concert concludes with an emotional Second Line parade that pays homage to The Crescent City’s vibrant culture and Reggie Workman’s remarkable accomplishments. City, and
of Reggie Workman’s wondrous achievements.
Louis Armstrong (1901-71) is one of modern music’s most influential and famous musicians. He rose from poverty in New Orleans and became the first significant soloist and vocalist in jazz music. According to music and cultural critic Albert Murray, Armstrong was “the Prometheus of jazz” who invented scat-singing. During his childhood in the Crescent City, Armstrong was greatly influenced by the exceptional Cuban trumpeter Manuel Perez of the Onward Brass Band and the music he heard from the Caribbean, particularly Cuba. In 1930, Armstrong’s recording of the Cuban standard “El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor)” sold a million copies and became a precursor to the birth of modern Latin jazz in the 1940s, led by bebop pioneer Dizzy Gillespie, arranger/trumpeter Mario Bauza, and percussionist Chano Pozo.
Louis and Lucille Armstrong founded and funded the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc. (LAEF) in 1969 to give back to the world “some of the goodness he received.” The mission of the organization is to preserve and promote the cultural legacy of Louis Armstrong by fostering programs, lectures, and other educational events to assist those interested, gifted, and talented in the field of music, primarily jazz. Today, the Foundation is a major source of funding for programs to expose and educate adults and children in the history of American jazz and has provided solid financial support to institutions across the nation. https://louisarmstrongfoundation.org
WBGO is a non-profit, publicly funded arts and cultural institution dedicated to curating, presenting, and preserving music created out of the African-American experience. They are committed to providing their community with independently produced music programming and journalism for public enrichment, entertainment, and insight. The WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series brings world-renowned jazz musicians to New York and New Jersey concert halls and venues. These concerts allow young listeners to discover the enjoyment of jazz, improvisation, and musical collaboration. https://www.wbgo.org
Flushing Town Hall’s vision is to foster artistic excellence and innovation. They bring audiences together via high-quality arts exposure and experiences through Jazz, classical, world music, theater, dance, spoken word programs, family and education programs, senior programs, exhibitions, and free community events. The multi-disciplinary programming reflects the diversity of the local community while introducing audiences to new art forms and genres and providing opportunities for artists to celebrate their traditional arts and create new work. https:flushingtownhall.org