As the site of Buddy Bolden performances and Louis Armstrong's youth, the Eagle Saloon is one of the most significant early jazz landmarks still remaining in New Orleans.

401 South Rampart, site of the Eagle Saloon, anchors this historic block in theonce diverse neighborhood of African Americans, Jewish and Chinese immigrants that is closely associated with Louis Armstrong's youth and musical upbringing.

Louis Armstrong grew up here near Perdido Street in the "Back of Town" neighborhood with businesses stretched along South Rampart Street.

The Odd Fellows, an African American fraternal group, leased the top floor of the Masonic Hall here and used it for dances where the bands of cornetist Buddy "King" Bolden and violinist John Robicheaux performed in the early 1900s. Bolden, considered one of the first and most influential jazz musicians, left a huge musical impression on the first generation of jazz players.

Music was prevalent in public spaces in this neighborhood -- The Odd Fellows lined up for parades on Perdido street, and the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club was founded in 1909 in this block. Louis Armstrong wrote of standing in front of the Zulu Social Club at a young age, listening to the band from the street.

On New Year's Eve, 1913, an adolescent Louis Armstrong was arrested for shooting a pistol into the air at the corner of Perdido and Rampart streets here in front of the Eagle Saloon. His sentencing required him to attend 18 months at the Colored Waif's Home near City Park, where the structured environment provided his first formal musical training on bugle and cornet, and performance opportunities in parades.

Interpretive panels on the street in this block cover the histories of the neighboring Iroquois Theater (413) and Karnofsky House (427), also important sites in the youth of Louis Armstrong. As Armstrong recalled,

"On Liberty, Perdido, Franklin, and Poydras there were honky tonks at every corner. and in each one, instruments of all kinds was played. At the corner of the street where I lived was the Famous Funky Butt Hall where I first heard Buddy Bolden play. He was blowing up a storm." - Louis Armstrong [1]

Continue your tour by heading to the red brick building next door to The Eagle Saloon, the former home of The Iroquois Theater.