Louis Armstrong

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Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics). Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong’s influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over”, whose skin-color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided.

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Ray Archie

Ray Archie is the Executive Director of Notes to the Soul, Inc. is infinitely the musicians’ advocate. It comes from the heart as Ray is also a musician who plays cello, bass, & piano and has performed internationally with Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas, LSO, SF Symphony orchestra, & many others. Ray crosses the boundaries of classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop, and soul music. Ray is an award-winning musician who has toured extensively worldwide since age 12. He has over 30 years of music industry experience, 12 years of broadcast experience, created large-scale consumer-facing products and has set international standards for audio.