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).
1. MUSICIANS DON’T RETIRE; THEY STOP WHEN THERE’S NO MORE MUSIC IN THEM.
2. ALL MUSIC IS FOLK MUSIC. I AIN’T NEVER HEARD A HORSE SING A SONG.
3. THERE IS TWO KINDS OF MUSIC, THE GOOD, AND THE BAD. I PLAY THE GOOD KIND.
4. WHAT WE PLAY IS LIFE.
5. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT IF THEY DON’T KNOW, YOU CAN’T TELL THEM.
6. WE ALL DO ‘DO, RE, MI,’ BUT YOU HAVE GOT TO FIND THE OTHER NOTES YOURSELF.
7. THE MEMORY OF THINGS GONE IS IMPORTANT TO A JAZZ MUSICIAN.
8. YOU BLOWS WHO YOU IS.
9. IF YOU HAVE TO ASK WHAT JAZZ IS, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW.