2003-02-22 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance
by Susan Hartenstein


"Louis Armstrong in Concert" is an exhibition celebrating this jazz great’s live performances. It runs through May 8 at the Louis Armstrong Ar-chives at the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, Room 332, Queens College, Flushing, NY. Recognized as a founding father of jazz, a uniquely American art form, Armstrong was dedicated to performing for audiences around the world. He was on the road an average of 300 days a year. He played in large and small venues. His career spanned five decades, in which he performed for millions of fans and played with a wide range of musicians and singers. "Louis Armstrong in Concert" at-tempts to recreate, even for those who never attended, the feel of an Arm-strong concert. The exhibit features an extraordinary array of concert programs, video footage of live performances, sound recordings, photographs, posters, newspaper clippings and even concert tickets.

Louis Armstrong had an enormous influence on his contemporary musicians and those who followed. He de-veloped a way of playing jazz, as both a trumpeter and vocalist, the echoes of which can still be heard today. He wrote extensively about his life and work. He also appeared in over 30 films and composed dozens of jazz standards. His many talents drew millions of fans from all walks of life and from well beyond just devotees of jazz.

The Louis Arm-strong Archives at Queens College is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of this musical genius. To this end, it makes the material in its archives available to everyone, serving as a reference source, presenting concerts and educational programs about Arm-strong’s life and is presently converting his home into an historic museum. Though rich and famous, Louis and his wife Lucille chose to live in a modest home in Corona, Queens. (Arm-strong was born in New Orleans.) After his death the house was declared a National Historic Landmark and after Lucille’s death, a City of New York Landmark. The Archives contain the vast number of personal belongings that came from that home. These include 1600 recordings, 650 reel-to-reel tapes in hand-decorated boxes, huge numbers of scrapbooks, photographs, sets of band parts, letters, manuscripts, trumpets and mouthpieces (including a Selmer trumpet and mouthpiece given to Louis by George V of England), awards and more. To learn more about the Ar-chives’ presentations, programs and performances, log onto www.satchmo.net.

Film noir classics will be presented at the Queens Museum of Art in conjunction with "The Pointed Pen: Wil-liam Sharp’s Court-room Drawings, Po-litical Caricatures and Book Illust-rations from the 1930’s-1950’s." Sat-urday, February 22 at 2 PM see "M" (1931) directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. Saturday, March 1 at 2 PM, "The Wrong Man" (1957) directed by Alfred Hitchcock will be shown. Stars are Henry Fonda and Vera Miles. Both films are in black and white and run 105 minutes. Both are extraordinary studies of the human psyche. The horror and tension built in these films comes out of those studies, incisive acting and the brilliant techniques used by their directors. Find out why most black and white films should never be colorized. The movies are introduced by Queens-based filmmaker Nick E-fteraides, who co-founded Marevan Pictures and directed "Astoria" (2002). He leads informal discussions after the film presentations. For more infor-mation, log onto, www.queensmuseum.org.

RAA short shots. Contact RAA for more information about:

• RAA adult art classes – 1) Sculpting for Beginners. 2) Creative Writing for Beginners. 3) Papier Mache for Beginners

• "Vermillion: A Show of RED" now at sTudio 6 Gallery through March 9

• "Destinations": Travel to foreign and not-so-foreign places – RAA’s next open exhibition at sTudio 6. Sub-mission (by slides and/or photos) deadline: February 27. Call for details.

Next RAA building committee meeting for renovation of sTudio 7: Monday, February 24 at 7:30 PM in sTudio 6 Gallery (building T-6), Fort Tilden.

See you at the Fort.


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