Couple celebrates art and music of Satchmo

Book signing, live music on tap at South Amboy bar


AMatawan husband and wife will bring their artistic talents to the Blue Moon Cafe on South Broadway on Sunday.

MICHAEL ACKER Steven and Kati Brower of Matawan will be at South Amboy's Blue Moon Café on Sunday for a book signing and event recognizing the artwork and music of Louis Armstrong. MICHAEL ACKER Steven and Kati Brower of Matawan will be at South Amboy’s Blue Moon Café on Sunday for a book signing and event recognizing the artwork and music of Louis Armstrong. Author Steven Brower will be signing copies of his new book, “Satchmo: The Wonderful World and Art of Louis Armstrong,” while his wife Kati Brower of the band Nine Below Zero will be performing Armstrong’s songs with some of her friends.

Steven Brower’s book, which came out in March, highlights Armstrong’s little-known visual artistry. The author said “Satchmo” has been getting some wonderful feedback, including at the recent Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival.

“It’s been great. We’ve had a lot of great reviews,” said Steven Brower, also the author of “Woodie Guthrie Artworks,” which highlights another musician who created visual pieces as well. “[These books] both were a lot of work, but they were both worth it.”

Steven said his editor Eva Prinz at publishing house Abrams was the one who told him about Armstrong’s artwork, which included collages on boxes for his reel-to-reel tapes. Steven said Armstrong would record and then use those boxes to create collages of news clippings and other memorabilia about his music. He also made scrapbooks of these pieces as well. While he was a lifelong fan of Guthrie, Steven said his passion for Armstrong is relatively new.

“I have to say that I was interested, but I was not aware as I am now and not as big a fan as I am now,” he said.

Both Browers are passionate about sharing jazz and blues history and music with others. Kati Brower sings with Nine Below Zero, a blues ensemble based in the Red Bank area. She is also a Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation trustee and the youth project director of the JSJBF’s Jazz & Blues Youth Project. She said members of the JSJBF, including the Youth Project, will be performing with her during the four 40-minute sets she will be doing on Sunday.

Kati said she and her friends will be playing some of Armstrong’s favorite songs, including “Summertime,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and “What a Wonderful World.”

“The program’s a very, very good balance between the blues and the jazz,” Kati said.

Though the Browers both played in a rock band when they lived in California, Kati said she’s open to all types of music. “I’m very eclectic. I love to do everything,” she said.

Blue Moon, she said, is the perfect venue for the event.

“The bar itself is just amazing,” she said, adding that the bar celebrates the history of jazz and blues through everything from its décor to its weekly lineup of performers. “It’s just really a wonderful atmosphere.”

In fact, it was because Kati has often played at Blue Moon that the combination event came to fruition. She said when manager Walter Maier learned of her husband’s new book, he asked her about doing a special event. “He said, ‘Oh, do you think we could have a signing?’”

Kati is optimistic that the night will generate a lot of interest in her husband’s book. “Steve’s arm, I’m sure, will be sore,” she said.

The book will be available for $35 (cash or check only).

Looking ahead, Steven Brower said he hopes to do a book on Orson Wells, who was also a visual artist.

The evening focused on Louis Armstrong will start at 3 p.m. at Blue Moon. For information, visit or call 732-525-0014.