|Najar, Lamb, Feinman, Suggs, Ellison|
The Venice Art Center and the South County Jazz Club teamed up to present a Louis Armstrong tribute concert on Thursday, June 25, featuring a quintet led by fine young trumpeter James Suggs. He's an engaging player with family roots in Newport RI, but who grew up in Ohio. He moved to St. Petersburg area in 2014 after having spent the prior eight years living and working in Argentina.
|Tom Ellison, James Suggs, Brian Hughes|
The concert underscored just how much music associated with Armstrong is embedded in the foundation of jazz and American culture. ""I love Louis Armstrong, I always have," Suggs told the audience, a full house of about 170. "He's just one of those guys who's iconic. He is one of the best the world has ever seen." Suggs' speaking about Armstrong in the present tense made sense, given the entertainer's enduring legacy 44 years after his death on July 6, 1971.
Sharon Preston-Folta, Louis Armstrong's daughter from a 20-year sometimes turbulent affair the trumpeter had with her mother, was on hand to sign copies of her book, "Little Satchmo: Living in the Shadow of My Father, Louis Daniel Armstrong." She now lives in Sarasota.
In brief intermission remarks, she said Armstrong took she and her mother on summer tours with him when she was ages 3-7, bought her mother a house and supported them. She said she last saw him when she was 13, not too long before his health failed and he passed away.