Historical Influences

Louis Armstrong at the Pyramids of Giza

Imagewho/where/when: The photo was taken by an unknown photographer from the Associated Press, the ancient sphinx and pyramids at Giza near Cairo, Egypt, on January 28, 1961.

what: The picture is a historical photograph of the great jazz musician Louis Armstrong. The photograph was taken while Louis was on a tour of Africa and the Middle East. He sits a top a giant camel blaring his trumpet in front the great Sphinx while his wife, Lucille, takes a photograph of him. Armstrong looks out of place in his suit and dress shoes sitting on a camel with the sands and pyramid towering over him in the background.

why: Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time. His trumpet technique and vocal style still are a part of modern jazz. In the 1920’s Armstrong gained wide recognition and popularity for his music. In this picture Louis was on a U.S. State Department-sponsored Goodwill Tour of Africa and the Middle East.

how: There is no information on who took the picture or how it was taken. The photograph was obviously a film camera since it was in the 1920’s. The photographer used black and white film, and since he was from the associated my press my best guess is he was using a handheld. I don’t think he would need a tripod since the sun would be very strong in the desert.

links: Click here for other pictures in the gallery.


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