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The Everlasting Louis Armstrong

The educational programs of the Louis Armstrong House and Archives

Lucille and Louis Armstrong and (probably) Clarence Williams
Lucille and Louis Armstrong and (probably) Clarence Williams

As I go toward my typewriter every morning, I am cheered by a Duncan Schiedt photo of Ruby Braff, standing next to his lifelong source of joy, Louis Armstrong. I first knew Ruby when we both were in our early teens, and he told me that when he was 6, “This beautiful, bright-orange sound came out of the radio, and I was in the Louis Armstrong University, from which you never graduate.” (He never did, but he did receive an honorary degree when Louis voted for Ruby in the “New Star” category of the 1956 Encyclopedia Yearbook of Jazz poll.)

The Louis Armstrong University is still thriving, as I often hear from Louis’ longtime friend and associate, Phoebe Jacobs, the master of jazz advocacy and the rhythm section of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, which Louis founded in 1969.

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