Chandelle Marie LaForest Continued . . .
Starting at age 5, I spent my childhood icy cold New England winters listening to the radio broadcasts of the “Metropolitan Opera” every Saturday in the car after skiing with my family, and every summer was spent in the “shed” at Tanglewood in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts.
At age 9 after breaking my leg skiing I began formal classical music training. My Father was a huge fan of classical music, the “Great American Songbook” and Big Band Jazz. Every morning my Father drove me to school and we listened and sang songs from the “Great American Songbook”.
At age 5 my Father took me for a special surprise evening concert at the “Palace Theater” in Albany, New York where I heard Louis Armstrong in person. I know we had seats very close to the stage as I had to lean my head straight back, and I was gazing directly into Mr. Armstrong’s shining face as he sang and played his horn. Nothing I had ever seen or heard ever matched that night at the Palace Theater with Mr. Louis Armstrong.
I continued studying classical music, majored in 20th century French ﬂute music, which I performed and recorded all over the world. I even played Mozart’s Concerto in G with the Albany Symphony on the Palace Theater thirteen years after seeing Mr. Louis Armstrong on that very stage. Always, always hearing in the back of my mind were the amazing sounds of Louis Armstrong. I knew in my heart I would come back to that music that I was yearning for after that amazing evening!
It was many, many years until I started a band and began to play the music from my inspirational evening with Louis Armstrong. I consulted my Father on a name for my new band and he quickly answered “Vintage”. Life is short, and this is the story of my long journey from classical music to playing the music that Mr. Louis Armstrong inspired and challenged me to play!