The Queens Library, Louis Armstrong Museum and the Kupferberg Center of the Arts have come together to launch a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” in all 62 of its branches with free workshops, concerts, and lectures from now until June 30th.
With the help of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, these three organizations have created a program to give the borough of Queens multiple opportunities to celebrate the life, history, and music of Louis Armstrong who spent a large portion of his life living in the gentrified neighborhood of Corona, Queens.
This program which will span all 62 branches of the Queens library will include lectures by members of the Louis Armstrong Museum and performances by 12 musicians who represent the cultural diversity of the borough of Queens. These 12 musicians will also be performing their own rendition of Louis Armstrong’s iconic song “ What a Wonderful World” which was written to show his love and appreciation for the borough.
Dennis M. Walcott, the President and CEO of the Queens Library, said that while Louis Armstrong’s iconic tune reflects his feelings about the neighborhood of Corona and the borough of Queens, it also applies to the way customers experience their libraries.
“It speaks to the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of learning that occurs each time people come to us for information that helps them succeed in their lives,” said Walcott. “ Our partnership with Kupferberg Center of the Arts at Queens College and the Louis Armstrong House Museum offers a great opportunity for everyone who visits our library locations to absorb Satchmo’s optimism and reinforce his sense of wonder about the world.”
The Queens Library will also be hosting arts activities where the people of Queens could create collages and other works of art to share “what makes their wonderful” and what makes the borough of Queens such a wonderful place.
Throughout this event the Queens Library, with the help of the Louis Armstrong Museum, will showcase videos about the iconic songs history and its relationship with the neighborhood.
David Oswald, chairman of the Louis Armstrong Museum, said, “The Louis Armstrong Museum is thrilled to be sharing the legacy of the great Louis Armstrong throughout the borough of Queens and beyond the neighborhood of Corona he loved so much where the museum is based.”
This celebration of the life of Louis Armstrong will include several artists who were deeply inspired by Louis Armstrong. Highlights include performances from David Ostwald’s grammy nominated New Orleans style group, the louis Armstrong Eternity band and other artists such as Ming Xiao Fen and Prasanna who will be showcasing their own styles of music at each of the libraries located in the borough of Queens.