By Brinda Fuller Willis, Ph.D.
Jackson Advocate Contributing Write
The Natchez Community Center will present SATCHMO! A Tribute to Louis Armstrong on June 11, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. featuring Kimble Funchess, Mississippi’s most sought-after trumpeter.
The Natchez Community Center publicity staff reports, “The writers and crew who brought you ‘From Mississippi to Motown,’ ‘Woodstock,’ and ‘The British Invasion of Natchez,’ have created SATCHMO! a most provocative and informative production that provides caveats that reveal Louis Armstrong’s surprising connection to Natchez, biographical sketches of his life, how he came to play the trumpet and how he got the nickname SATCHMO! that would become synonymous as one of the greatest masters of the trumpeter and consummate world-renowned entertainer.”
Kimble Funchess has been tapped to deliver a musically captivating and exhilarating portrayal of Armstrong as SATCHMO! via his greatest hits. Funchess has honed his skills and developed his chops as a music major at Jackson State University under the tutelage of Professor Russell Thomas, a music virtuoso and prolific jazz master of national and international acclaim. Additionally, Funchess graciously lends his talents as a music teacher of public and private school students throughout Mississippi and has starred in the acclaimed movie “Get On Up,” the 2014 autobiography of James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” which was portrayed by the incomparable Chadwick Boseman and filmed in Natchez.
The SATCHMO! production comes at an opportune time. It will be spotlighted during Black Music Appreciation Month which occurs throughout the month of June. What better way to explore the genius of Louis Armstrong than by listening to and observing the artistry of Kimble Funchess, a Black History Maker and native Mississippian?
Funchess can be heard on Spotify via his podcast “Mindfulness Through Music” that promotes the daily practice of social and emotional skill sets through discussions about the ways to integrate the arts and mental health concepts into the educational spectrum as a learning modality. The prose and music of SATCHMO! is appropriate to convey happy and sad emotions vocally and or as an instrumental presentation.
The Natchez Community Center is located at 215 Franklin Street in downtown Natchez. Tickets can be purchased online at eventbrite.com and at the door ($25 for adults and $10 for children under 12 years old and active military). Visit www.natchezconventioncenter.org and/or call 601-442-5880 or 888-475-9144.