Lucille Armstrong (wife of the late, great Satchmo) being presented as Queen of Zulu at the Zulu Ball (copyright, Yoshio Toyama)
Yoshio and Keiko Toyama put the icing on my King Cake for Mardi Gras this year! I feel very honored to have received the following email from them, along with some rare, vintage photographs Yoshio took of Lucille Armstrong, wife of the famous Satchmo, during her reign as Queen of Zulu, circa 1973. Happy Mardi Gras to all ---Enjoy the photographs courtesy friends of New Orleans, Yoshio and Keiko Toyama....
I am sending you photos I took in 1973, a year and half after Louis Armstrong's passing. Zulu had Mrs. Lucille Armstrong as Queen of Zulu. She was on the Zulu float, Satchmo. At Zulu's ball I took her photo with the King of Zulu, and Satchmo's sister Beatrice Collins (known as Mama Lucy), then living in New Orleans.
I remember so many school bands with shiny instruments and sharp uniforms marched joyfully. 20 years later, many school bands did not have any new instruments because the budgets were much much less.
Happy Mardi Gras!!
Yoshio and Keiko
(All photographs copyright Yoshio Toyama)
Lucille Armstrong as the Queen of Zulu on Satchmo float
School Marching Band, Mardi Gras New Orleans
School Band Drum Corp - Mardi Gras, New Orleans
School Band, Trombones - Mardi Gras, New Orleans
To view other stories by Yoshio Toyama, follow this link.
Yoshio Toyama and his wife Keiko apprenticed for 5 years at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, "hanging out" with the likes of Percy Humphrey and "Sweet Emma Barret" Yoshio's playing and singing style is influenced by the musical legacy of the legendary Louis Armstrong. The couple are currently sending musical instruments and donations from Japan to aid in Katrina recovery through their Wonderful World Jazz Foundation.
Copyright, Yoshio Toyama. All Images are property of Yoshio Toyama and may not be linked to another website, copied, or reproduced without permission.