As remnants of the incredibly destructive Hurricane Ida move northeastward, many Southern US residents are dealing with the sad aftermath of the powerful storm. Residents, who are already battling a stifling heat index, are left without power and remain trapped due to flooded roads. Irreplaceable historic areas have been battered and leveled. Cherished buildings and landmarks have been permanently lost in the wake of obliteration. Yesterday, amidst the heartbreaking cleanup efforts, a pivotal jazz monument was found to be destroyed by Hurricane Ida.
The Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence has collapsed. Located in New Orleans, this landmark was considered the site of Louis Armstrong’s musical origins and served as the musician’s “second home.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure had been standing for over 100 years but the winds from Hurricane Ida were too strong for the famed building to handle.
Originally built around 1910, The Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence is where Armstrong first worked. The Karnofsky family lived upstairs and took in a young Armstrong, convincing him to become a musician. Armstrong, who frequently dined with the Karnofsky family, played his first instrument at this location.
In later years, Armstrong’s boyhood friend, Morris Karnofsky, opened Morris Music which was the city’s first jazz record store. Armstrong eventually moved away, but he would still frequent this location whenever he was in the area. Recently, the building had been sitting in dereliction, but there were plans to restore it prior to the ongoing pandemic.
A New Orleans icon, Armstrong was a vocalist and trumpeter who is considered to be one of the most influential jazz figures of all time. The jazz legend had an illustrious career that spanned five decades. Regarded for his charismatic stage presence and pioneering ways, Armstrong was one of the first African-Americans performers to gain widespread popularity with both white and black audiences. His music still inspires artists today and his presence can be found intertwined amongst most music genres.
The entertainment industry must also contend with the aftermath of the storm. The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival announced yesterday that the opening of the festival will be postponed due to heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Ida. They also announced that full refunds will be offered to those who don’t wish to attend the festival anymore.