Lifestyle, Music, News, Reviews
Nov 6, 2023

IAMLA Opens New Exhibit “Louis Prima: Rediscovering a Musical Icon”

On November 4th, the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles closed the curtain on their successful Pinocchio exhibit and debuted their newest exhibit Louis Prima: Rediscovering a Musical Icon set to run through October 2024.

The exhibition is produced by the IAMLA in collaboration with the Gia Maione Prima Foundation and it explores the life and legacy of Louis Prima (1910 -1978.) Prima, a skilled jazzman, prolific songwriter, and extraordinary performer was omnipresent, from film and television to viral TikTok videos, Disney tunes, and hit covers by contemporary artists. The exhibition examines Prima’s New Orleans background and inspirations, his rise to success, artistic prowess, and his role in shaping two of the nation’s entertainment capitals—New York and Las Vegas.

Image Credit: Louis Prima Exhibit, Courtesy of IAMLA

Prima, a Grammy Award-winning, multimillion-dollar hitmaker, was also unapologetically Italian American during a time when such proud displays of ethnicity were frowned upon. He helped pave the path for other performers, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Perry Como.

Through hits such as “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Jump, Jive, an’ Wail,” and “Angelina,” as well as personal effects, memorabilia, and rare images, Louis Prima: Rediscovering a Musical Icon will enable visitors of all ages to discover, or rediscover, this groundbreaking performer and true legend of the music world.

Image Credit: Senator Anthony Portantino and Executive Director of IAMLA, Marianna Gatto, Courtesy of IAMLA

The exhibit is made possible with the support of Gia Maione Prima Foundation Inc, Italian Sons and Daughters of America, De Pietro Family, Order Sons of Italy and the New Orleans Jazz Museum, Tulane University, Walt Disney Archives; Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

The opening night event featured a selection of wine from across Italy, passed tray Italian food and desserts, and a performance by the Luke Carlson Quintet performing Prima’s hits.

The exhibit is open daily and is free to the public. There will be special programming announced throughout the year. For more information, visit