Herb keeping grandfather Satchmo's legend alive in Brisbane show

Herb Armstrong knows a thing or two about music.

He grew up in the musical hotbed of New Orleans and would hang out with the likes of Harry Connick Jr, Dr John, the Neville Brothers, and Wynton Marsalis.

He had met Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and the whole of the infamous Rat Pack by the time he was 14 years old.

Oh, and his grandfather is none other than the legendary jazz trumpeter and singer, Louis Armstrong.

With a musical pedigree like that he should know how to put on a show, and that's what he intends to do at the Big Community Day Out in Brisbane on May 15th to help celebrate Endeavour Foundation’s 60th anniversary.

“I used to sneak into the bars in New Orleans, hiding under the tables, to watch the shows,” he said in his deep New Orleans drawl.

“I loved meeting my grandfather when I was a kid, he was always entertaining, and everybody loved him.

“There's a bit of pressure on me every time I go on stage because I just want to make it feel like Louis Armstrong is still here in the 21st century.

“One guy came up to me after a show and told me that he'd seen my grandfather perform in 1965 and said Louis would have been proud of me and my performance, and it made me feel as though the dream lives on.”

The crowd for Endeavour Foundation's Big Community Day Out on May 15th can expect the unexpected.

“I can't plan my show, I go with what I see and feel, I play or I dance and change things around which the band love.

“I'm 53 years old but I feel like I'm 29 and I'm never going to get old.

“I'm a crowd-pleaser and I just want everyone to have a good time.”

The band is the Royal Street Krewe, an eight-piece which features guitars and a horn section alongside Herb on piano.

“My hero is Professor Longhair who played ragtime, boogie woogie, and New Orleans Funk which is a kind of funk/Cajun crossover, its own sound.

“I'm the only one in Australia playing this style.”

Herb lives in Redcliffe after marrying an Australian, and previously lived in Noosa, but he's getting homesick.

“I need to get some good old gumbo, and jambalaya, and grits. And they've got to be from New Orleans!”

Herb jumped at the invitation to perform at Endeavour Foundation's big 'thank you to the community' party.

“I like to do things for good causes. I used to volunteer at the Endeavour Foundation op shop in Margate, helping with the clothes.

“Endeavour Foundation is a great cause and I like giving back to the community.”

Endeavour Foundation’s Big Community Day Out will be held at the Cultural Forecourt on Brisbane’s South Bank on May 15th 10am-4pm, as Endeavour Foundation says thank you to the community for six decades of support.

Endeavour Foundation is celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout 2011.

Endeavour Foundation supports more than 3,350 people with a disability from more than 230 locations throughout Queensland and New South Wales.

David Coles
Media and Communications Officer
P (07) 3908 7109
M 0419 248106
F (07) 3253 7271
E d.coles@endeavour.com.au