Hero Image

Who Inspires Us? ...Louis Armstrong, Jazz Pioneer


02 Aug 2023 | Alex Avery

Throughout 2023 we’re shining a light on some of those who inspire us throughout history and from around the world. Pioneers in science, technology, music, sport and beyond!

These incredible people can be found highlighted on our website home page too, but in these articles, we take a closer look at their stories and why we’re celebrating them.


In August, we celebrate one of Jazz’s influential musicians, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. 


Born in New Orleans, USA, in August 1901, Louis is famous globally for his contribution to jazz music.

Louis had a tough childhood in a tough neighbourhood. Aged 6, he worked with a family of Lithuanian Jews, playing a tin horn to attract customers (in return, they gifted him money to buy a cornet).

His career took off in the 1920s, playing with brass bands aboard riverboats on the Mississippi River. Here he joined the band Fate Marable, who taught Louis sight reading – Louis described this time as “going to University”, although he played with other bands during this time.

In 1925 he formed Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, producing 24 records between November ’25 and ’26! Other members spoke favourably of his easy-going management style and passion to develop every member of the group. He began scat singing –improvised vocal jazz using nonsense words) – capturing the attention of musicians across the United States. This success continued through the Harlem Renaissance, bringing together black and white audiences.

In 1949 he became the first jazz artist to feature on the cover of Time Magazine. Over the course of 30 years, he played over 300 performances a year, making further recordings and appearing in over 30 movies. By the 1950s Louis became an internationally loved icon.

In 1964, he recorded “Hello, Dolly!”, blazing into the Hot 100 for 22 weeks, dislodging The Beatles from the No. 1 position they’d previously occupied for 14 weeks with 3 different songs. He continued touring into his 60’s, visiting Africa, Europe, and Asia, earning the nickname “Ambassador Satch”.

Unfortunately, he had to pause his touring due to ill health, eventually passing away, in New York, in 1971.

Louis was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 1972, and his recordings were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, honouring the historical significance of his work. His ability to write hit songs for five decades of his life – and the legacy of that work – makes him an indelible mark on not just the jazz movement but all of music.


“What we play is life.”


What Louis means to us.

Satchmo. Ambassador Satch.

Louis Armstrong earned several nicknames throughout his illustrious career – his passion, dedication to his art, and unique ability – make him one of the greats. But why does he inspire us?


“If ya ain’t got it in ya, ya can’t blow it out.”


Louis was a natural. He worked hard to develop his talent, but he was also gifted. At gravity9, we look for those gifts in our people too. Our team is made of experienced professionals who are passionate about constantly building themselves, learning and training to hone their gifts in technology.


“If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.”


It’s easy for us to talk about the quality of the work we do, but the proof is inevitably in what we deliver. The world of IT is always changing and evolving, so we invest time in ensuring we’re always at the top of our game. That passion we talked about above? It takes work, but the payoff is worth it every time.


“There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.”


Speaking of proof, we think it’s easy to tell a good job from a bad one. Cutting corners, doing a half-baked job… always comes unstuck in the end. We believe in doing things right and evolving as we build and learn. Our approach to iterative design trends makes sure that if requirements or scope shift, we still build the good kind of product for you.


“My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn…”


We’re dedicated to what we do. The passion, the proof, the constantly learning and evolving approach we take… we think that’s what sets us apart from companies who see every project as an isolated transaction, a “one-off”, rather than a legacy of their quality and drive to deliver.

With any luck, when we look back on our works – like Louis Armstrong’s – we’ll see a string of hits over decades to come.