Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong was a brilliant jazz cornet and trumpet soloist, honored on a single commemorative stamp prior to being included in this set of ten stamps honoring jazz musicians. He began to play at the age of thirteen as a member of the band of the New Orleans Waifs' home. A cornetist in New Orleans and in Mississippi riverboat bands, he was first heard by a larger audience when he joined King Oliver's group in Chicago in 1922.
His 1923 recordings with Oliver were among the first to feature black performers. In 1925, after playing as a solo artist with Fletcher Henderson's New York band, he returned to Chicago and formed his own group, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five (or, occasionally, Hot Seven), which made a series of recordings still prized today as classic Chicago Dixieland. In 1932,
Armstrong made the first of many successful European tours. Armstrong's popularity was heightened through appearances on radio, in films, and later on television. His unique "scat" singing style became as well-known as his trumpet tone, and today he remains one of the most famous of all American jazz musicians.