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Jazz concert—Tribute to Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday


By Antonio Lozoya

As part of the extraordinary concerts of the twenty-fourth annual International Jazz and Blues Festival, there will be a tribute concert for two jazz legends—Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday,—this Saturday, June 30, at the Angela Peralta Theater.

Louis Daniel Armstrong (1901–1971), nicknamed “Satchmo,” “Satch,” and “Pops,” was an American trumpeter, composer, singer, and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades from the 1920s to the 1960s and covered different eras in the history of jazz. The twentieth century produced no shortage of legendary instrumentalists and vocalists, but Armstrong is the only figure who completely changed the way people played music on their instruments, and he completely changed the way people sang.

Perfecting the concept of the improvised solo, popularizing the use of scat singing, and defining the concept of swing are just some of the ways Armstrong changed jazz and American popular music during his lifetime. He is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and his voice almost as much as for his trumpet playing. His artistry and personality allowed him access to the upper echelons of American society, at the time highly restricted for black men.

Eleanora Fagan (1915–1959), better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skill, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.

Much of Holiday’s material has been re-released since her death. She is considered a legendary performer with an ongoing influence on American music. Lady Sings the Blues, a film about her life starring Diana Ross, was released in 1972.

Two great singers will perform at this concert: Louise Phelan originally hails from Limerick, Ireland. She has performed professionally at home and abroad, with the majority of her professional work taking her out of Ireland. She has participated in concerts as a soloist with symphony orchestras, orchestra bands, and big bands. In addition, Phelan has performed in musicals, dramas, TV, and radio throughout North America, South America, and Europe. While living in Stockholm for a few years, she worked for Sony BMG & Universal Music.

Robert Kaplan has been one of the leading musicians in the jazz scene in San Miguel de Allende. A drummer, singer, and harmonica performer, Kaplan studied at the Berkley School of Music and the Boston Conservatory in the United States. He has played with Gato Barbieri, Dexter Gordon, Marion Brown, Etta Jones, Dave Burrell, and Howard Noha. He has developed his own style of singing that led him to be one of the top ten finalists for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, which takes place every year in New York City, involving hundreds of musicians from around the world.

Other musicians who will play at this concert include Armando Servín on trumpet and rhythm section, Jaime Valle on guitar, Juan José Cerdeneta on drums, and Antonio Lozoya on bass and musical direction.

Tickets are on sale at the Angela Peralta box office theater or through PayPal:

Do not miss it!



XXIV International Jazz & Blues Festival presents

Tribute to Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday

Sat, Jun 30, 7pm

Teatro Ángela Peralta

Mesones 82, Centro

350, 300, 250, 200 pesos


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