Historian Ricky Riccardi goes behind the scenes of Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues

If you like music documentaries, here’s one for you.

Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues offers an intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversation.

This documentary, directed by Sacha Jenkins, honours Louis Armstrong’s legacy as a founding father of jazz, one of the genre’s first internationally known and beloved stars and a cultural ambassador of the United States.

The film shows how Louis Armstrong’s own life spans the shift from the Civil War to the civil rights movement, and how he became a lightning rod in that turbulent era.

Historian Ricky Riccardi has worked for the Louis Armstrong House Museum since 2009. He was originally hired as archivist and now serves as director of research collections. He’s the author of two acclaimed biographies on Louis Armstrong, and he’s written the liner notes for about a dozen Satchmo releases; in 2022, he won a Grammy Award for best album notes.

Riccardi joined us to talk about the new documentary and more.



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