what a wonderful world

a musical soirée in honor of louis armstrong
July 30, 2012  |   column: DELIBERATE POLISH

at kate spade new york, we love exploring, especially when it’s in our own backyard. recently our graphic designer, dana lucas, took the “7” train to the end of the line for a sunny shindig at the home-turned-museum of jazz legend louis armstrong. she shared some highlights from her musical adventure, including a floral frock she stitched just for the occasion (she also dabbles in dressmaking).

WHERE was the event?

it was held at the louis armstrong house museum, which is located in queens just off the second-to-last stop on the “7” line. this was my first visit and i was blown away. louis moved to the house in 1943 with his wife lucille, and it’s been preserved almost exactly as he left it. plus, the staff was very knowledgeable and friendly and admission is free—it’s truly one of nyc’s hidden gems.

WHY did you decide to go?

great music of course! also, this was one of many jazz shows the museum hosts during the summer, which are all free and open to the public.

the guests enjoyed an amazing house tour from the docents. louis was a sound addict – he would record things happening in the house, such as conversations, dinner parties, etc. as you wander through the rooms, you listen to recordings of actual conversations louis had there, so it feels as if he’s right there with you.  it sent shivers down my spine!

WHAT was the celebration like?

this was called a “garden party” since the musicians were set up outside in louis’ garden and they served his favorite refreshments – lemonade, red beans and rice. i read that he loved red beans and rice so much he sometimes signed his letters “red beans and ricely yours”! to go along with the garden theme, i made a dress from one of my favorite kate spade new york fabrics—a yellow rose print, which was perfect for the sunny day.

overall, the music was incredible, and the party drew a very diverse crowd: the young and old, locals from the neighborhood and many manhattanites all enjoyed an afternoon of jazz together. i can’t say enough about this place, except you must see (and hear) it for yourself!


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