Louis Armstrong’s Prague concerts – a major event

Louis Armstrong, Lucerna, Prague, 1965

August 4 is the 120th anniversary of the birth of Louis Armstrong, one of the greatest names in modern music. The jazz pioneer’s visit to Prague in 1965 was an unforgettable moment for local fans.

Louis Armstrong with his wife in Semafor theatre,  Prague,  1965 | Photo: Czech Television

Few international artists visited Czechoslovakia in that period and Satchmo’s nine shows at the Lucerna Grand Hall – where he was introduced by local stars Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr – were all hopelessly sold out. A live LP recorded at the concerts was later issued by a Czechoslovak label.

Armstrong visited Prague Castle and the hot local theatre Semafor, with the press reporting on his activities regularly.

Episode 9 of our podcast series In Their Own Words focuses on a Czech Radio recording of a news conference the trumpeter and singer gave at the Hotel International.

Our archives also include an interview with Lubomír Dorůžka, who served as Louis Armstrong’s guide during his visit: https://english.radio.cz/lubomir-doruzka-legendary-music-journalist-and-translator-western-literature-8554884

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