Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World Returns to the World's Borough This Saturday

Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World Returns to the World's Borough This Saturday

On Saturday, July 21, for the fifth consecutive summer, Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World takes over the heart of Queens, at the crossroads of historic NYC neighborhoods, Flushing and Corona: Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This free event produced by the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College welcomes fans of jazz, soul, funk, blues and hip-hop to the park to celebrate the famed career and life of trumpeter, composer and jazz pioneer, Louis Armstrong (who died in Corona, Queens, where he spent the majority of the second half of his life).

Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World 2016 (Courtesy Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World)

Take the 7 line subway to 111th St. or to Mets-Willets Point, equidistant to the festival grounds, or take the Long Island Rail Road to Mets-Willets Point and walk through the park and into the festival. LIRR customers: Since it's a Saturday, be sure to purchase a "City Ticket" for a flat $4.25 fee, rather than paying the standard MTA off-peak fare. Weekend railroad rides are cheaper than standard off-peak fare! 

Main Stage 2016 (Courtesy Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World)

This year's festival is headlined by Queens native, Action Bronson, who, after growing up in Forest Hills, Queens, just a single exit away from Flushing Meadows Corona Park on the Grand Central Parkway, is now an internationally-acclaimed and award-winning hip-hop lyricist and producer, as well as a globally-recognized professional chef. Bronson, who was born to an Albanian immigrant father and a Brooklyn-born Jewish mother, and who hosts the VICELAND series' "F*ck, That's Delicious" and "Traveling the Stars: Ancient Aliens with Action Bronson," takes the stage for his festival-closing, hour-long set, at 7 pm. 

Action Bronson (Courtesy Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World)

Arrive early in the day though, as the main stage kicks off at 4 pm with a set by NOLA-born and NYC-based funk producer, DJ Cochon de LaitAt 4:30 pm, Fu Akrist Ra—the brainchild of Abraham "Duke" Amayo, the lead singer and composer of Brooklyn-based afrobeat ensemble, Antibalas—take the stage to offer a blend of Chinese lion rhythms, Nigerian Afro-beat, highlight, funk and jazz. The group's material, politically-loaded and eclectic, builds throughout the set upon conversations of stories, lessons and dances of ancient Chinese and African folklore.

An hour later, the eight-piece brass ensemble The Soul Rebels deliver an eclectic set, blending funk, blues, jazz, hip-hop and rock, with a focus on horns and drums to immediately set forth a funky, party-like atmosphere. When they're not touring, The Soul Rebels, who have recently played alongside legendary Queens rapper, Nas, as well as Philadelphia hip-hop greats Talib Kweli and Lauryn Hill, continue to maintain a weekly residency at the historic New Orleans jazz and blues neighborhood bar, Le Bon Temps Roulé

To recap, here are Saturday's set times:

4:00 pm: DJ Cochon de Lait

4:30 pm: Fu Akrist Ra

5:30 pm: The Soul Rebels

7:00 pm: Action Bronson

Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World 2016
(Courtesy Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World)

The festival's Backyard Bash—designed to emulate the garden parties thrown by Louis Armstrong during the nearly 30 years he lived in Corona, Queens—takes place at the Queens Theatre, a short walk from the main stage grounds within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Queens Theatre, named Pops' Place on this day, will be adorned in New Orleans-themed decorations, while an indoor beer garden will provide guests refreshment offerings, including hurricane cocktails, wine and beer (plus snacks). Within the air-conditioned, indoor space, listen to Satchmo-inspired tunes and explore the Louis Armstrong House Museum and Kupferberg Center for the Arts, where a special art exhibition will showcase portions of the only known film of Louis Armstrong in the studio, Armstrong recording his 1959 album, "Satchmo Plays King Oliver." The exhibition will include a range of clippings and resources documenting Armstrong's life and career, and will also feature film commentary and discussions by Louis Armstrong historian and Louis Armstrong House Museum Director of Research Collections, Ricky Riccardi. 

Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World 2016 (Courtesy Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World)

Admission to the festival is free, but VIP tickets, which feature access to a private main-stage viewing area and private bathrooms, are available here

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