This is Jazz News, a look at what’s news in jazz, music, and the arts.

A new musical honoring Louis Armstrong’s legacy is coming to the big stage. “A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical,” will have a run on Broadway in the fall – previews will begin on October 16 and the play will officially open November 11 at Studio 54.

This musical was conceived by Christopher Renshaw and novelist Andrew Delaplaine. Music supervision and direction, co-arrangements and orchestrations by Annastasia Victory and Michael O. Mitchell.

The show will examine his life as an important figure in the history of jazz, from his early days in New Orleans and through the following 5 decades of international stardom. It will be told through the eyes of his four wives and the score will be filled with his compositions including its title, “When You’re Smiling,” “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love” and others. The leading role of Satchmo will be played by Tony-award-winning James Monroe Iglehart. Iglehart said in a statement to The Playbill Post:

“American music wouldn’t be what it is today without Louis Armstrong, and what is Broadway if not American music? ‘Pops’ doesn’t get enough credit for his contribution to our entertainment industry or our country. I know I have never studied, researched, or prepared for anything as much in my career as I have for this role. I feel such a strong connection and an obligation to bring his voice, his music, and his story to the one place where it can be presented in all its glory–Broadway!”

(SOURCE: NY Times/Theater/Louis Armstrong/Broadway; PlayBill/James Monroe Iglehart/Louis Armstrong Musical; https://PlayBill/The man behind the Trumpet/Louis Armstrong Story)

The Sheroes are celebrating their 10th anniversary with the release of their 4th album produced by Jazz Master Lenny White. Monika Herzig formed The Sheroes with one mission: To work toward inclusivity in Jazz.

Their 1st album The Whole World in Her Hands created in 2014 showcased an all-star cast including Leni Stern, Lakecia Benjamin, Jane Bunnett, and other powerful women musicians. Their second album Sheroes was named one of the Best Albums of 2018 by DownBeat Magazine and held a coveted spot in the top ten of the US Jazz Charts for weeks. The group uses their success and activism to address the larger issue: lack of equal gender participation for instrumentalists. Monika Herzig also produced as co-editor and co-author of The Routledge Companion Jazz and Gender (2022) studying this issue.

All In Good Time, their latest project, sponsored by Chamber Music America, features their core group made up of award-winning NY flutist Jamie Baum and trombonist Reut Regev; Andy Williams alumna Rosa Avila on drums; European bassist Gina Schwarz from Vienna; and special guests Camille Thurman-Green on saxophone and Leni Stern on guitar. Unfortunately, funds only partially covered the costs.

The Sheroes turned to the community in mid-January through Kickstarter to complete the project. Good news – the jazz community came through! To date, $6511 has been reached for this project, exceeding their original goal of $6,000. In a comment to supporters through Kickstarter, Monica Herzig stated, “I’m incredibly grateful for the support, it takes a village to make a big vision like this one become reality, and I’m grateful to live in that village.”

Herzig also announced that the album will be released in late July. The Sheroes will be on tour in the US in late August/early September, and in Europe in October with an appearance at the Jazzmandu Festival in Nepal, celebrating their 10th anniversary.

(SOURCE: Kickstarter/Projects/Monika Herzig/Sheroes)

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Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Monika Herzig, Playbill Post

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