Many people revere Louis Armstrong.
Chris Clifton of New Orleans is one of the lucky few who can put reverence into practice. He’s also been blessed to know his hero, so what Chris plays comes from deep loving knowledge. As he says in the video below, he met Louis in 1952; they became friends and exchanged letters. Louis has been the light on the paths Chris has taken through life.
Enjoy the soulful tribute and beautiful melodies from Chris. Standing behind him, I know, is an older man, smiling as broadly as he can:
In the video, Chris tells of his meeting Louis (the thought of the “chubby youngster” fingering imaginary valves right in front of the band is touching) but I hadn’t known that Louis introduced Chris to Lillian Hardin Armstrong, pianist, singer, composer — and that Chris became a member of her band when he was 18, and would often stay at her house in Idlewild, Michigan.
In another interview, Chris said, Lil’s cottage had “a screened gazebo where I used to sit and practice. While I played, the neighbors would come over, thinking Louis was there. Lil would say ‘No, that’s not Louis. Go out back and see who’s playing.'”
Follow Chris, a longtime New Orleans native, here.
May your happiness increase!