The Power of Armstrong’s Voice

Louis Armstrong has one of the world’s most recognizable voices. To many, his raspy voice is iconic, marvelous, beautiful, incredible, and timeless. After reading comments left in the “comment section” of YouTube videos featuring Armstrong’s songs, I was not surprised that many people remarked that his voice inspires smiles and evokes nostalgia. Several recent comments... Continue Reading →

Across Space and Time

“the timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness, And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream. And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.”1 How aware are we of space and time and its... Continue Reading →

Armstrong as an OKeh artist

In 2013, Sony Music representatives announced their intentions to relaunch OKeh Records as the primary jazz imprint of the company’s Sony Masterworks. According to Sony Music, OKeh of the twenty-first century was going to feature global jazz music played by musicians such as John Medeski of the United States, Dhafer Youssef of Tunisia, and Michel... Continue Reading →

On Being Black

"On Being Black" Tatjana Lightbourn “What did I do to be so black and blue?” sings Louis Armstrong in my earphones as I sit on the stoop of my Brooklyn apartment. I recently read a Race and America segment from The New York Times entitled, “What We Know About Breonna Taylor’s Case and Murder.” It... Continue Reading →

Armstrong’s Archive

We value archives because we value the life that preceded them. But artists are not perfectly self-aware, and they owe neither us, nor posterity, an explanation for what they value or what they choose to ignore. What always remains is the work, and then the archive...[1] -- Thessaly La Force, The New York Times  Before the... Continue Reading →

A Cat’s Tale

“A Cat’s Tale” Tatjana Lightbourn How would you define a cat? Is the definition of a cat even relevant to you and how you define the story of your life? In a 1956 interview with Edward R. Murrow, Louis describes his definition of cat, “a cat can be anybody from the guy in the gutta to... Continue Reading →

What I’ve Learned

When people say “you learn something new every day” that statement should not be taken lightly. Throughout my time at the Louis Armstrong House Museum and Archives I have learned a lot about museum and archive work, Louis Armstrong, and how to navigate the world. The experience that I had during my fellowship is something... Continue Reading →

Blow Satchmo!

Few musicians can be synonymous with a style of music such as Louis is to jazz and, still shock and astonish listeners many decades after his passing. The music that Louis played is truly eternal and one of the greatest gifts my time here at LAHM has provided for me is not only a deeper... Continue Reading →

Louis in the Summertime

Summertime, an' the livin' is easy  Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high. Oh, yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good-lookin' So hush, little baby, don' you cry. Those lyrics from the song "Summertime" in the opera Porgy and Bess summarize the feelings people experience during the summer. The summer is the time... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑