NEWS: Announcing the 2024
ARMSTRONG NOW Artists-in-Residence

These exceptional artists will collaborate with us in 2024, delving into the treasures of the Armstrong archival collection to find inspiration for new works that fuse music, dance, spoken word, and various visual and performing arts.  

This year’s Armstrong Now Artists-in-Residence are: tap dancer, choreographer and original Broadway cast member of Shuffle Along, Lisa La Touche; jazz saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins (The New York Times #1 Jazz Album of 2020); saxophonist, composer and educator Steven Salcedo; and dynamic musicians and multimedia artists Soul Science Lab

In the true spirit of tap, Lisa La Touche calls this opportunity the “call and response of a lifetime! One of spirit filled proportion, held with the anticipation of great honor and gratitude.” 

“Throughout his entire life, Louis brought his music to all corners of the world spreading love and creating a global community in Jazz.” says Steven Salcedo. “Like Louis, I strive to bring people from different walks of life together through the universal language of music. Digging deep into his archives, I’m looking forward to seeing where our paths intersect on a deeper level, and hope to continue in his footsteps providing an artistic statement that will help carry on his legacy.” 

Immanuel Wilkins shared “Archives are important. It’s a rare opportunity to comb through a jazz musician’s traces that was so aware of what he was leaving behind for many generations after him. Louis Armstrong is a figure who opened so many doors for American music and through his trumpet playing, his visual art, his voice recordings, and many more, he has created a map or sorts that I am so excited to respond to in my own creative way.”

Soul Science Lab, a music and multimedia duo powered by emcee, songwriter Chen Lo and composer, producer Asante Amin, said, “Working with the Louis Armstrong House represents an amazing opportunity. At Soul Science Lab, we’re dedicated to understanding Black musical luminaries and pushing their traditions forward for future generations. Louis Armstrong’s contribution is vital not only to Black music but also to American music in ways that are indescribable. We’re excited to peel back the layers and create something groundbreaking in response to what we discover and learn at the Armstrong House archives.”

Background and Prior Seasons:

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 established and emerging artists with a platform to create new work inspired by the vast collection of artifacts and documents in the Armstrong Archives.

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, 2023 Artists-in-Residence

“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.”

-Amyra León, 2023 Artist-in-Residence

Armstrong Now: Road to Newport

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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