Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies, in conjunction with The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation (LAEF), presents The Louis Armstrong International Continuum, a Free virtual symposium and concert set for April 8 (6:00 pm – 10:30 pm ET) and April 9 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm ET)

This year’s annual Armstrong Continuum celebrates the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong by focusing on his music and on his responses, both as a musician and as a citizen of the world, to the times of emergency through which he lived. What might his example teach us about facing our current era of trial and trouble?

Dedicated to the memory of the writer Stanley Crouch, who for many years served as president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, this year’s Armstrong Continuum is mindful of Mr. Crouch’s eloquence on the subject of Armstrong. In an effort to measure the man’s musical influence, Crouch turned to the vastness of the sky. “Louis Armstrong is always above us..”

Through musical presentations, conference papers, and public talks, the 2021 Continuum will attempt again to measure Armstrong’s influence. It will also ask: What can the artist do, in this era of COVID and the vast terrain of injustices that the pandemic has revealed, to help heal our planet? In light of Armstrong’s sky-high example, how can all citizens of the world act more responsibly?

Because the study of the forms and functions of jazz is required of every student in Columbia College as part of our Core Curriculum, this symposium will be addressed to the entire CU campus. It will also address our neighbors in Harlem, where Armstrong has long been celebrated; in Queens, where the Louis Armstrong House Archive is a city centerpiece; and then to the wide world beyond the gates of this great city—to Louisiana, so to speak, of the planet.

The Armstrong Continuum is honored to present an all-star line-up of presenters and musicians: Dwight Andrews, Gina Belafonte, Daphne Brooks, Ron Carter, David Chevan, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Jackie Harris, Stefon Harris & Blackout, Wolfram Knauer, Emily Lordi, René Marie, Wynton Marsalis, Ingrid Monson, Jason Moran, Dan Morgenstern , Robert O’Meally, Ainissa Ramirez, Ricky Ricardi, Bobby Sanabria, Howard Schain, Robin Bell Stevens, Brianna Thomas, Chris Washburne, Cornel West, James Zollar, James Zollar Quartet.

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