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Jazz it up, National Park Style
One of the newer additions to the National Park Service's portfolio is the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, which is located off Decatur Street in the heart of the French Quarter. This small visitor center is a good start into representing one of the most influential music movements in history. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the roots of jazz, and its influences in so many other music genres since. There are also audio stations set up for you to hear the various forms, and plenty of history to go around. The overall building is fairly small, but it is large enough to hold small concerts, which seem to go on every day. We missed the performance for the day when we went, but I will definitely make a concerted effort to attend the concert next time.
They also have a wide selection of jazz titles for purchase as well, so I did grab a New Orleans Jazz Christmas album to listen to this Christmas.
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Small but pretty Armstrong Park
Armstrong Park very small but very picturesque. Here Jim is walking over one of th bridges that are part of the pathway through the fountains. Congo Square is facing Jim in this picture. The history of this square is fascinating. From the voodoo of Marie Laveau to the birth of Jazz this park has a history to be told.
Louis Armstrong Memorial
Although Armstrong Park is not a place to spend hours of your time but it is worth a visit. I only spent a few minutes in the park. It is not large and you can walk through the entire area is less than half an hour. Here I am pictured next to the memorial to Louis Armstrong. I really love the music of Louis Armstrong. So I really appreciated this memorial and the chance to pay respects to his great talent.
As you walk through the French Quarter you can hear his recordings coming from many of the shops. You can also hear his songs being sung in many of the Jazz clubs as you walk the streets.
Armstrong Park is a very small park but still a very pretty one. It contains several statures and memorials. It also surrounds the area that is known as Congo Square. Congo Square is considered the birthplace of Jazz. It was also the home of Voodoo rituals. A very interesting area with much history. Now it is all dedicated to the memory of Jazz great Louis Armstrong. Its hard to go to New Orleans and not feel the influence of this great musician and entertainer.
The park also contains the Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts Center.
Opposite the French Quarter is a large park named in honour of New Orleans greatest jazz musician, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.
There is a large archway entrance to the park on Ann Street and at night it is brightly illuminated. Inside the park is a statue of “Satchmo” and a bust of jazz pioneer Sidney Bechet. The Mahalia Jackson Theatre of Performing Arts is also within the park. This is also the site of Congo Square which was an area designated by French-colonial law where African slaves were allowed to meet on Sundays. They would interact, play music, dance and pray which also allowed them to retain more of their culture than almost anywhere else in the U.S. Many believe this is where jazz began and why New Orleans became the most African city in North America.
Armstrong Park is located on upper side (away from the river) end of the French Quarter off of Rampart. It is named after the late, great jazz musician Louis Armstrong, one of New Orleans' most celebrated citizens. I took a stroll up St. Phillip Street (you can go up St. Ann too) and into the park and within two minutes was approached by a shady looking character with awful alcohol on his breath who tried to play tour guide for me. He started going on and on about what I should do in the city and of course, he expected to be compensated for his efforts. I gave him a couple bucks despite the fact that three of the five tips he gave me were incorrect. While this guy seemed pretty harmless, you do have to be careful in this area. It's not the safest part of town.
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