The World’s Only Global Musical Instrument Museum ®

Musical Icons: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Saturday, February 25 | 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 26 | 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Included with paid museum admission; free for Circle of Friends and Friends of MIM

Celebrate Black History Month at MIM by commemorating the legendary Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Explore the lives of these influential jazz musicians through special presentations, film screenings, trivia games, and hands-on activities!

Gifts Available for Purchase

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Museum Store will feature a selection of CDs, books, and gifts celebrating the fabulous music of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

Photo Booth
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Have your picture taken with costumes and props at MIM’s custom photo booth, and instantly get your own copy to take home.

Toe-Tap Pianos
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Improvise some new tunes and play music with your toes! Try your skills on our eight-foot-long piano mats.

Instrument Spotlight: Jazz Guitars
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Come and try your hand at one of MIM’s guitars under the guidance of our volunteer team members. The guitar played an important role—and, arguably, was one of the most influential instruments—in the evolution of jazz music. Get ready for your solo!

“The Journey of Jazz from New Orleans to New York” with Blaise Lantana
10:30–11:30 a.m.
Join Blaise Lantana, music director and radio host of KJZZ (91.5 FM) for a very special engagement in celebration of jazz music and two of its most important artists. Follow the evolution of jazz as Lantana traces it from blues and Kansas City swing to Chicago and the Big Apple, highlighting its different integrations and the influences of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald along the way. A lifelong musician and vocalist herself, Lantana shares the story of jazz through this unique musical presentation.

Caricatures by She Draws You
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Remember the day with a caricature! Have a whimsical portrait drawn by local artist Dianne Nowicki of She Draws You Caricatures.

Jazz-Inspired Menu Available for Purchase
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Try Café Allegro’s witty spin on popular Southern favorites, with dishes such as “Queen of Jazz” Gumbo and Slow-Cooked “Pops” Pot Roast.

Special Screenings: Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For and The Gift
Noon–1:30 p.m., Saturday
Noon–2:00 p.m., Sunday
Go behind the scenes in the lives of the Queen of Jazz and Satchmo! On Saturday, join MIM for a special screening of Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For from the award-winning TV biography series American Masters. Narrated by Tony Bennett, this “smooth as silk” documentary recounts Fitzgerald’s life from her early dreams of becoming a dancer to her eventual rise to jazz stardom as the “First Lady of Song.” On Sunday, dive deeper into the Jazz Age and get to know Louis Armstrong as MIM screens The Gift, the second episode of the ten-part documentary series JAZZ: A Film by Ken Burns. Flappers, the Prohibition, speakeasies, and a booming stock market set the tone for this episode as it highlights Armstrong’s upbringing in New Orleans, discovery of his unparalleled talent as a trumpet player—what he called his “gift”—and his influence on a whole generation of musicians and genre of music.

Trading Riffs: An Improvised Jazz Conversation
2:15–3:00 p.m.
Learn about the influence of two of the great artists of the jazz world from MIM’s curator for North America, Dr. Richard Walter, and MIM volunteer team member and jazz musician Frank Smith. Their combined perspectives will illuminate the ways in which Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong shaped musical and cultural contributions that still resonate today.

MIMQuiz: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
3:30–4:15 p.m.
How much do you really know about Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and jazz music? Finish off the day by joining in on some exciting rounds of team trivia. Come with a team or make new friends as we test your knowledge! The winning team will receive one $10 MIM gift card per person (no more than four people per team).