April 27, 2018 By Tara Law
Queens Library will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Louis Armstrong’s beloved song “What a Wonderful World” with events in all 62 of the system’s branches.
Queens Library is partnering with the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College to host free workshops, concerts, lectures, video, and surprise events throughout May and June.
After releasing the song in 1968, Armstrong said that the lyrics were inspired by his home in Corona.
“Lucille and I, ever since we’re married, we’ve been right there in that block,” Armstrong said. “And everybody keeps their little homes up like we do and it’s just like one big family. I saw three generations come up on that block. And they’re all with their children, grandchildren, they come back to see Uncle Satchmo and Aunt Lucille. That’s why I can say, ‘I hear babies cry/ I watch them grow/ they’ll learn much more/ then I’ll never know.’ And I can look at all them kids’ faces.”
Highlights of the celebration include a variety of musical performances, including by the Grammy Award nominee David Ostwald and his ensemble The Louis Armstrong Eternity Band. The band will perform at Langston Hughes Library at 100-01 Northern Blvd, Corona on May 24 at 6 p.m., as well as at Flushing Library (Auditorium) at 41-17 Main St. on June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Akoko Nante Ensemble, a Pan African percussion/vocal group that plays music from Africa and its diaspora, will play at Jackson Heights Library a 35-51 81 Street on June 9 at 3 p.m.
The band Radio Jarocho will play its own rendition of the song and a compilation of Mexican folk music. The band will play on May 26 at 1:30 p.m. at Langston Hughes Library at 100-01 Northern Blvd, Corona, and on June 30 at 3 p.m. at the Forest Hills Library at 108-19 71 Ave.
A lecture on Armstrong’s life and times will be led by experts and archivists from the Louis Armstrong House and Museum. The lecture will be conducted in English at the Forest Hills Library at 108-19 71 Ave. on June 25 at 6:30 p.m. Lectures in Spanish will be held at the Corona Library at 38-23 104th St on May 1 at 3:30 p.m.; at Jackson Heights Library at 35-51 81st St on June 2 at 3 p.m., and at Astoria Library at 14-01 Astoria Boulevard on June 4 at 5:30 p.m.
For a complete list of events, visit the Queens Library’s website.