In a kick off event for Black History Month (February) held on Jan. 29 at NYU's Vanderbilt Hall, Full Monty's André de Shields and jazz historian Stanley Crouch led a Centennial Tribute to Ambassador Satch – Louis Armstrong.
In his keynote address, sources said, jazz historian Stanley Crouch spoke for several minutes and stressed the fact that there really is no program "to tell students who Louis Armstrong was...and there are kids coming out of school who do not know who he was."
For his part in the tribute, De Shields performed the Armstrong recordings “I’m Confessin’ That I Love You,” “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You,” “Black and Blue” and “What a Wonderful World.” Music for the event was performed by a band led by Terry Waldo.
In a prepared statement citing Armstrong's role in leading a "musical revolution," De Shields said, "With a coronet as his crown and a smile as his scepter, Armstrong conquered the world in the cause of happiness... there is no more appropriate means of greeting the new millennium than with a centenary tribute to America’s representative of goodwill to the world — Ambassador Satch.”
— By Murdoch McBride