Louis Daniel Armstrong was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century. In 1901, he was born in New Orleans, LA to parents Mary Albert and William Armstrong. He spent the early years of his life living with his grandmother before moving back with his mom.
His father left the family by that time and he lived in a poverty-stricken area in New Orleans called “The Battlefield” with his mother. He began playing musical instruments like the Cornet at an early age. By 1922, he followed his mentor Joe “King” Oliver to Chicago to play in the Creole jazz band and would eventually move to New York to join Fletcher Henderson’s band.
While in New York he would record his first songs as a sideman with other jazz greats like Sidney Bechet and backing several blues singers like Bessie Smith. Not feeling comfortable in New York, he would move back to Chicago and Okeh Records allowed him to make his first album under his own name: Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five. The music he made at that time has been considered the most influential recordings in jazz history. Armstrong was able to transform jazz from ensemble music to a soloist art.
Check out the documentary about his life below!!