2023 Armstrong Now Artists in Residence

We are proud to announce the 2023 Armstrong Now Artists in Residence: Antonio Brown, Esperanza Spalding and Amyra León

The ARMSTRONG NOW Artist-in-Residence program contextualizes Louis Armstrong’s contributions within historical and 21st Century constellations of Black making, thinking, and vitality.  The residency provides emerging artists with a platform to create new work inspired by the vast collection of artifacts and documents in the Armstrong Archives.

Between July and December, 2023, Artists-in-Residence will spend time at the Museum for an intensive period of research and rehearsal, creating their new work based on thematic content drawn from the Armstrong Archives. At the end of their residency, artists will present a public performance of the work at the Museum and additional performances may premiere in collaboration with partners throughout New York and beyond.

“As we research and recall shared lineages and present day interrelations of improvisational music and dance across the Black Diaspora (and beyond),  it is an absolute treasure to explore and expand our learning, vocabulary, and connections through the music and life of Louis Armstrong.”

~esperanza spalding & AntonioBrownDance: Off-Brand gOdds

“This is truly a dream! It is an immense honor to have the opportunity to breathe new life into Louis Armstrong’s sacred archive. I am thrilled to approach this experience as an empty vessel, ready and willing to receive, transmute and discover the hymns and stories waiting to be summoned.  I do not take this lightly for I know the vibration of his spirit will be guiding me on this journey of witnessing and creation. Harlem raised me on this music, on this liberated feeling, taught me to navigate the trenches with a smile on my face and oh how Louis smiled even as he sang of the troubles unseen. I cannot wait to get to know the self documented version of Louis Armstrong – the person behind the brass and grit, the melody and sway.”
-Amyra León


In addition to his profound impact on the arts and global culture, Louis Armstrong’s aesthetic and performance elements reveal Blackness and Black vitality historically, currently, and most importantly for the future. Armstrong Now is dedicated to featuring world-class artists responding creatively to the Armstrong Archives through a contemporary Black lens. Each collaborative performance for Armstrong Now embodies this legacy.

Armstrong Now features world renowned Black artists responding creatively to the newly digitized Armstrong Archives. The result of these engagements is the development of new collaborative projects, art works, and a suite of short films. In December 2020, we premiered the inaugural season of Armstrong Now with four full episodes with accompanying artist talk-backs.

“Louis Armstrong was a musical genius gifted to the world. Even now, Mr. Armstrong’s music and life help us move forward as we look back at his work.”  – Matthew Whitaker

View the Season Two Episodes:

The 2022 season of Armstrong Now features six episodes: 

Jabu Graybeal explores the overtones of the mirrored bathroom. 

Samara Joy sings “Honeysuckle Rose” alongside pianist Julius Rodriguez and dancers Alaman Diadhiou and Jabu Graybeal.

Samora Pinderhughes, accompanies Louis’ narration from one of our reel-to-reel tapes.  

“Home is…” This short film featuring dancer Alain Lauture by filmmaker Ben Stamper. Alain is joined by Gianna Theodore, pianist Matthew Whitaker, Nutella.k Rooks, Takushi “Huu Rock” Minami, and LaTasha Barnes. Additional footage by Tyrel Hunt and Derrick Saint Pierre.

“Coming Home” This short film by Filmmaker-in-Residence Tyrel Hunt documents the process of  Alain Lauture and Matthew Whitaker. As they explore the Louis Armstrong House Museum, they begin to create a new work based around the concept of what home means to them.

“Concert in the Garden” featuring Ulysses Owens Jr. in performance and conversation on 107th Street.

“I am ecstatic about spending time at the Armstrong House, discovering unique artifacts and understanding more about the Father of Jazz Music while contributing to the continuum of this great art form and legacy.” 
– Ulysses Owens, Jr.

View the Season One Episodes:

“Armstrong Now is an initiative that is not only timely but necessary.”  – Martha Nichols

Season One: Artists and Collaborators: Derrick Baskin, Melanie Charles, Braxton Cook, Naomi Extra, Kayla Farrish, Michael Mayo, Alita Moses, Martha Nichols, Christian Sands, Negah Santos, Vuyo Sotashe, Ben Stamper, Daniel J. Watts, Brett Williams

“Armstrong Now is a reminder that Louis and his legacy have never left. His imprint is woven, printed, and embossed in all that we do.” – Daniel J Watts 

“To be able to look at the inner workings of greatness is nothing short of inspiring”  – Derrick Baskin

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