Festival Fever: Stoptime Louis Armstrong Festival, 7/6/11

Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong

Wednesday, July 6 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of the great trumpeter-vocalist Louis Armstrong, and in his honor, local artist Margo Mensing has organized the Stoptime Louis Armstrong Festival, which will take place on Wednesday at various locations throughout Saratoga Springs.

The fest kicks off at 4pm at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center with “Louis Armstrong: Music and Image,” a video presentation by jazz historian Hal Miller of the Skidmore Jazz Institute.

From 5-8pm, Saratoga’s Congress Park will be awash in events honoring Arnstrong, including performances by the jazz band Horns On the Hudson and tap dancer Tina Fretto Baird, Mensing’s art installation titled “Everyday Rags,”, storytelling by Joseph and Jesse Bruchac, a reading by Nedra R. Stimpfle from Armstrong’s autobiographies, as well as various workshops and children’s activities. Even the Congress Park Carousel will be pumping out Louis Armstrong music.

From 5-7pm at Saratoga Arts, Patrick Stacey will be serving up “Armstrong Electric,” a program of improvised mash-ups and audio collages culled from Armstrong’s vast catalog of recordings.

And from 5-6pm at the Spring Street Gallery, there will be an opening reception for the group art exhibition “Improvisations,” curated by Anne Diggory and featuring the artwork of Akiko Busch, Francelise Dawkins, Ginger Ertz, Willie Marlowe, Margo Mensing, Barbara Todd and Stephen Tyson, as well as Diggory. In conjunction with the reception, the experimental duo Shape Shifting Shepherds will be joined by guest percussionist Stanley Francoise for an improvisational performance.

At 9pm, the festivities move over to 9 Maple Avenue, where the Pete Sweeney Quartet will wrap up the fest with with a final performance of Armstrong tunes and other Armstrong-influenced jazz.

All events of the Stoptime Louis Armstrong Festival are open to the public and free of charge.


Freedom Square Festival @ Freedom Square, North Troy, July 2
The WGNA CountryFest @ the Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, July 9
Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 16-17
The Big Up @ Sunnyview Farm, Ghent, July 28-30
Bluestock Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, August 26-28
Jazz at the Lake: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 17-18, FREE

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