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

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.

In 2023, we will award residencies to three artists who will create new multidisciplinary works incorporating music, dance, spoken word, and other visual or performing arts. The new works will be performed for the public at the Museum.  

Timeframe & Requirements

Between July and December, 2023, Artists-in-Residence will spend one week 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 the week, artists will present a public performance of the work at the Museum. All residencies and new artworks music be completed by December 31, 2023.

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


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:

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 

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