Wednesday, 14 November 2012 09:29
by Stacey Plaisance, Associated Press
Trumpet auction to benefit ‘Satchmo’ music fest
Minnesota trumpet maker Jason Harrelson's "Satchmo" trumpet is expected to fetch $10,000-$15,000 at auction Saturday.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trumpet-maker Jason Harrelson said he’s donating one of the best trumpets he’s ever made to benefit a festival honoring the artist who sparked his passion for the instrument — Louis Armstrong.
Harrelson’s specially made brass “Satchmo” trumpet has a fleur-de-lis mouthpiece and transcription of the musical score for Armstrong’s trumpet solo in the song “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.” It also has a tuning slide mounted with a small replica of an iconic New Orleans water meter cover.
The trumpet is set to hit the auction block Saturday with proceeds benefiting Satchmo Summerfest, the free, three-day festival in the French Quarter held each year in early August around Armstrong’s birthday. The instrument is expected to fetch between $10,000 and $15,000.
Harrelson, a Louisiana native who now lives in New Brighton, Minn., said he’s attended the festival the past two years but has been an Armstrong fan since childhood. As a 5th-grader, he said he wrote a book report about Armstrong and later took up playing the trumpet because of his admiration for him.
“I could relate to his story, to his coming from poverty and making music his life,” said Harrelson, who was born in Leesville, La., and was 19 when he started making trumpets.
Armstrong was born in New Orleans on Aug. 4, 1901 and died in 1971 after a stellar career that took him through jazz and motion pictures. The city’s international airport is named for him.
Now 38, Harrelson has his own shop in New Brighton and provides instruments to musicians worldwide. In New Orleans, more than a dozen musicians use his trumpets, including Kermit Ruffins, Shamarr Allen and members of the city’s brass bands. His instruments also are used by New York jazz band leader Jeremy Pelt; Ray Riccomini, a member of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in New York, and San Juan’s Latin jazz artist Charlie Sepulveda, whose recording credits include the soundtrack for the 1992 movie “The Mambo Kings.”
“We’re just so honored that he’s giving this trumpet to us,” said Marci Schramm, executive director of French Quarter Festivals Inc., the nonprofit organization that produces Satchmo Summerfest. “The hardest thing about producing free festivals is that’s it’s so expensive, and every little bit counts.”
The group’s French Quarter Festival, one of the largest free music festivals in the region, draws an estimated 400,000 attendees each year. Satchmo Summerfest draws about 30,000 people, Schramm said.
The “Satchmo” trumpet will go to the block at Neal Auction Co. on Saturday. It’s expected to come up for bids between 2 and 3 p.m. CST. Silent bids are being accepted online at www.nealauction.com and by phone at 504-899-5329 or 800-467-5329.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
OCT 24 You gotta love it when they start eating their young, right? In this post in Politico, BP mouthpiece Geoff Morrell denies that his company's oil spill "ruined the Gulf." Instead, he says, it was Bobby Jindal's decision to divert fresh water into the salt water environment that caused massive losses to shrimp and oyster industries. The evidence doesn't back up any claims that the spill caused that harm, he says. Nothing to see here, move along.
OCT 24 The former mayor of Sorrento was arrested on dozens of child pornography charges, a post on The Creole reports here. Wilson Longanecker Jr. was arrested in his Ascension Parish mansion, the blog reports.
OCT 24 As Bobby Jindal's tenure as governor winds down, blogger Tom Aswell tells us to expect to see more and more of his appointees jumping ship. Some might get shown the door (or the federal indictment, as the case may be) and others are just going to want to avoid standing in "the inevitable unemployment line," he says.
OCT 24 Jim Brown is blogging about elections in this post. There's no one more recognizable when it comes to elections than he is, and yet he still had to show his ID, you know. He gives some easy-to-remember advice on the Amendments: vote against them all. This stuff needs to be handled by legislators, not added to the Constitution, he says.
OCT 24 Bobby Jindal's recent "magical" budget touch - you know, the one that turned a $140 million deficit into a $170 million surplus - is just imaginary, columnist James Gill tells us in this post. It's about as real as that story he tells about the "gold standard" of ethics, Gill says.
OCT 24 George Carter III, a teenage member of the group Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, died this week, the Picayune reports here. Educators who knew him called him a "visionary." He certainly had some highly-developed ideas for his age, but despite his ability to provide positive ideas for helping kids in the city, in the end he wasn't able to escape NOLA's problems, either.
OCT 24 John Dickerson posts this slice-of-campaign-life look at Mary Landrieu on the trail in Louisiana. Republicans are playing to a runoff, he opines, meaning our state will become "a zoo" if it turns out this race will decide control of the Senate.
OCT 24 Bike lanes have been quite the topic of convo over in NOLA recently, what with streetspace, already at a premium downtown, being sacrified for them. In this post on the Uptown Messenger blog, Owen Courreges opines that the lanes are not really being constructed for people who ride bikes, but instead because developers seeking to make money downtown feel they are needed. He's also predicting that they will increase already nightmarish levels of traffic to new heights. Nah -- that couldn't happen!
OCT 23 Blogger Tom Aswell posts the photo that started making the rounds of the Facebook this week; it shows our governor and his lovely bride, all bright and smiley and holding big guns. The Jindals look a little posed, down to their carefully and properly placed index fingers. They're both grinning wide, displaying how comfortable they are with weaponry. Whee!
OCT 23 This fascinating post on The Lens opens the discussion of New Orleans as subject. C. W. Cannon talks about the concept of dual consciousness and how New Orleanians, especially, have experienced this condition post-Katrina. Cannon attended a recent conference about the issue at Tulane, where the discussion focused on how the romanticization of the city by outsiders masks real social problems.
OCT 23 Bayou Buzz is taking Gov. Bobby Jindal and the GOP to task here for the Ebola shrieking. The so-called "travel ban" makes no sense, and these politicians should have done their homework before coming up with this stunt, Stephen Sabludowsky writes.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly