The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, New York, announced Thursday that New Orleans musicians Dr. John and Cyril Neville are among this year’s recipients of the Louie Award. The award honors dedication to preserving and promoting the cultural legacy of Louis Armstrong.
The Louie Awards will be presented Dec. 2 at the Armstrong House Museum’s annual gala.
New Orleans native Armstrong, an internationally famous performer during his lifetime, is widely acknowledged as an influential jazz pioneer. He lived in the modest Queens house that is now the Armstrong Museum until his death in 1971.
Singer, pianist and songwriter Dr. John’s career began in the 1950s. He worked as a producer and session guitarist during his teens. A six-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. John released his Armstrong tribute album, “Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch,” in 2014. It features reimagined renditions of Armstrong classics.
“Louis Armstrong was my hero and an ambassador to the world from New Orleans,” Dr. John said in a statement. “He opened the door for all of us. So getting the Louie Award from the Louis Armstrong House Museum on the 100th anniversary of his first gig is slammin’.”
Neville, another Grammy winner, is a singer, percussionist, bandleader and, for decades, a member of the Neville Brothers alongside his older brothers Art, Charles and Aaron. He has co-written songs with Bono, Taj Mahal, Daniel Lanois and many others. He’s featured on recordings by Dr. John, Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan, Edie Brickell, Willie Nelson and others.
The Armstrong House Museum gala will feature Neville performing with the Royal Southern Brotherhood.
“It is an extreme privilege to be honored by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and to honor Satchmo myself at this great event,” Neville said in a statement. “I’ve read that jazz music is the only true art form contributed to the world by America. That means that Louis Armstrong is the roux of the musical gumbo that America is still serving to the world. Funkaliciously.”
Dr. John added, “I was honored to pay tribute to him with ‘Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch,’ after Louis came to me in a dream and said, ‘Do my music your way.’ And I’m proud of the Louis Armstrong House Museum for helping keeping the spirit of Satch alive.”