Since it began, we have been the leader in the Borough of Queens and we've hit as high as tenth in the overall voting. I know that Pops has a bigger international following than most of the other sites so I'm asking for one last push as the competition ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 21...one week away!
Any grant money we receive is going directly to the beautiful garden at the Louis Armstrong House Museum. This is where Louis celebrated his last birthday on July 4, 1971 and it's where we continue to spread his message with concerts through the warm weather months. So if you love Louis Armstrong, taking a minute to vote could go a long way in helping preserve his legacy.
To spread the word, we've been doing some great things with some of New York's finest--and youngest!--Armstrong worshippers. And I've been doing my best Michael Steinman impersonation to document some of it. (Of course, being a novice, some of these videos were the first time I shot with an iPhone and I held it vertically making for an awfully narrow shot....but the sound comes through!) The minute the competition was announced at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we were ready with a "Flash Mob" of musicians ready to play and get attention on the steps of the Met. In these next videos, you'll see Bria Skonberg, Gordon Au, Mike Davis and Jason Prover, trumpet; Emily Asher, trombone; Jared Engel, banjo; Peter Ford, box bass; Elizabeth, washboard; Evan Crane, bass; Eddy Francisco, tap dancing; and more, including Armstrong House staff and Owen and Chris Skonberg waving signs and rallying the troops. Let's start with a little "Swing That Music":
If you prefer your videos a little wider, we had a professional videographer on hand to film, too, so here's an edited mash-up of "Bourbon Street Parade" and "Barbecue":
And I couldn't resist filming the dancers during the finale of "When You're Smiling":
The next day, Emily Asher's Garden Party swung the Garden into bad health with Emily, trombone, Mike Davis, trumpet, Will Anderson, clarinet, Nick Russo, guitar and Rob Adkins, bass. Here's their opener, "Marie":
Great stuff, right? I love obsessing about old Louis Armstrong records but it's nice to see Pops's music and message being carried out by this younger generation.
So thanks for watching and thanks for voting. Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter,a s I've been sharing never-before-seen photos on there to drum up publicity. And as a closer, how about a little "What a Wonderful World," sung by the elementary school kids at New Grace School on the front steps of Louis's house. Ohhhhh yeah!