Newport Festival Founder George Wein Performs at Festival
George Wein & the Newport All-stars are among the many great artists set to perform on the main stage at this year's JVC Jazz Festival Newport on Sunday, August 10. Featuring Wein on piano and vocals, the band includes Wein's long-time associate Howard Alden on guitar, drummer Jeff Ballard and two of today's most exceptional younger talents, Esperanza Spalding on bass and Anat Cohen on saxophone and clarinet . George Wein and the Newport All-Stars have toured the United States, Europe and Japan, including a performance in May at the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland that featured Alden, Cohen and Spalding.
"Sharing the stage with these dynamic and talented young people keeps with one of my favorite traditions of pairing great young musicians with seasoned players, " said Wein. "We represent several generations with Esperanza just in her 20s, Anat in her 30s, Howard in his late 40s and, although I'm over 80, I still feel like the new kid on the block. Their immense talent and willingness to play some of the best of traditional jazz definitely energizes and inspires me."
Wein is considered to be as much a legend as the numerous festivals he created and produced throughout the last six decades. In fact, he is the person responsible for the Newport Jazz Festival – an event that started the "festival era, " according to jazz critic Leonard Feather. In 2007, Wein merged his company, Festival Productions, Inc., with Shoreline Media, LLC to become The Festival Network, LLC. He continues as CEO and the creative force behind Festival Productions, the Live Events Division of The Festival Network.
At 82, Wein has as much creative fuel as he did when he started the Newport Jazz Festival more than 50 years ago and advanced the concept of live music. He pioneered the concept of sponsor association with music events. The Schlitz Salute to Jazz and the Kool Jazz Festival preceded any other sponsor identity with entertainment events, giving the sponsor the title presentation that guaranteed mention of the sponsor's name in publicity and promotion. His company, Festival Productions, Inc., went on to produce titled events for JVC, Mellon Bank, Verizon, Essence, Ben & Jerry's and others.
Wein joins an exciting line-up at the three-day JVC Jazz Festival Newport, including: Chris Botti and Ledisi at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, August 8 plus Aretha Franklin, Chris Botti, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Dave Holland-Gonzalo Rubalcaba-Chris Potter-Eric Harland, Ledisi, Lettuce with Fred Wesley, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, Charlie Hayden-Ethan Iverson-Bill Frisell; Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey; Christian Scott, Warren Vache Quintet, Aaron Goldberg Trio and Melody Gardot on Saturday, August 9, at Fort Adams State Park.
The festival continues on Sunday, August 10, at Fort Adams State Park with Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Anthony Hamilton, Guillermo Klein Y Los Guachos, Soulive with Fred Wesley, Lionel Loueke Trio, Chris Potter's Underground, Marco Benevento Trio with Chris Potter, Mark Rapp Band, Empirical and Esperanza Spalding as well as George Wein and the Newport all-stars.
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