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How Life Will Imitate George (Wein)

Friday, August 04, 2017

 

George Wein

In 1947, a white Jewish boy from the south of Boston fell in love with a black girl.

Despite vehement opposition from their parents, the couple was married in 1959. At the time, George and Joyce Wein were among just a handful interracial couples in the country. Their union was daring, and easily threatened by the city of naysayers around them. But still, George and Joyce found a harmony in one another that was unrivaled, and they were inseparable for over 65 years. The story of their star-crossed romance may seem ordinary in today, since nearly 20% of modern U.S marriages are interracial. But in an age where fairy tale endings seldom existed for people like them, George and Joyce’s feat was extraordinary.

When George met Joyce, he was a budding jazz enthusiast. Again, hardly remarkable today, but extraordinary at a time when most kids were catching on to Rock & Roll or Mozart concertos. Jazz was dominated by black artists, but George’s fascination with music knew no racial boundaries. With gusto, he used to gather the kids in his largely white neighborhood, and create a full jazz band. While the nation was jamming to Elvis Presley, George had the youngsters in his neighborhood grooving to Jazz classics. As he writes in his autobiography, “Picture a carload of (black) jazz musicians in 1943 driving through our slumbering suburb after midnight and playing music there until the early morning hours. This sort of thing just didn’t happen in Newton, Massachusetts!”

For three-quarters of a century since those days, George has crossed boundaries to uncover young musicians, nourish unsung artists, and enrich the world with great music. His signature creations, The Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals, have launched the careers of countless great performers, regardless of their race, gender or creed. At the debut of the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, two-thirds of the performers were black. And throughout the fifties and sixties, when musicians of color were struggling to get recognition, Newport welcomed them warmly. World-renowned artists like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Duke Ellington have all found great success there. What is as striking as the star-studded cast is what a great time the artists had together. And perhaps even more striking is how enthralled the largely white audience was with the performance on stage year after year. George had found a path to racial harmony well before the Civil Rights movement hit its stride.    

Race was not the only boundary George crossed with such ease. Women were equal beneficiaries of his unifying alchemy. In the 1960’s, women were very scarcely called to receive a golden gramophone at the Grammy’s. But George and Newport embraced and honored them. Ella Fitzgerald sang at the debut, and Sarah Vaughn was a regular. In the 1960 film about the 1958 Newport Jazz festival entitled “Jazz on a Summer’s Day,” one third of the performers depicted were women. Today, Female artists routinely sweep award shows and dominate Billboard charts these days. So, perhaps George was precociously setting trends. Or just maybe, reality has learned to adjust to his magical concoctions on stage.

This year, a few performers from exotic locations across the globe have been fortunate enough to get pulled into George’s unusual vortex. He has invited an eclectic troupe of musicians for an experimental performance at BridgeFest in Newport—to see if we can bring together our disparate cultures.  Our production, “A Bridge Together” will blend American Jazz and West African percussion with Indian classical music and dance.  As we watch this group of dozen artists rehearse, it is hard not to be amazed that several of them barely speak English, and some do not share any language at all. But they groove so fluently together once the drum sounds, the sax bellows, and the flute releases its happy harmonies.  

The camaraderie we experience as artists, and the harmony we witness in audiences seems so universal. It is shared by every musician and dancer we have ever met or read about.  And it has been palpable in every crowd of which we have been part.  George’s life is a testament to this unity, and the Newport Festivals are an exceptional demonstration of it.

All of this seems in stark contrast to the news we hear every day. We hesitate to turn to the television channels that dispense daily news. For all we hear is talk of the divisions in our politics, the bigotry in our society, and the empty phobias among our people.

Well, shame on all that! George’s triumph has taught us that the ugly reality we see in our politics may come and go, but our culture runs deeper, and it endures. Music and dance existed before civilization did.  They have always brought us together. And the conversations and collaborations of artists—facilitated by people like George—are already shaping an even more unified America for tomorrow. We refuse to let the noise on television subdue our enthusiasm. We refuse not because we are naïve, but because we believe that reality sooner or later catches up to dreams we cherish when hear music and dance. Because sure as the beat of the drum on that stage tomorrow, we know that life will one day imitate George!

The authors, Riya and Sara Kapoor are twin 17-year-olds and the sisters perform the traditional Bharatantayam dance mixed with Jazz. They are emerging innovators in the world of music and dance.

 

Related Slideshow: Newport Jazz Festival 2017 Performers

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Friday, August 4

Béla Fleck & the Flecktones

Béla Fleck has reconvened the original ‘Béla Fleck & The Flecktones’ featuring pianist/harmonica player Howard Levy, alongside Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten and percussionist/Drumitarist Roy “Futureman” Wooten. 

The group has won six Grammy Awards from 1997 to 2012. 

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Friday, August 4

Maceo Parker

Saxophonist Maceo Parker embodies the legacy of soul and funk music like no other musician can. 

Parker will soon re-release Roots Revisited — The Bremen Concert, a live recording from the first incarnation of Maceo’s own band in 1990. 

His current band hits the road this season in celebration of repertoire spanning the prolific career of this funk legend: 50 Years of Funk.

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Friday, August 4

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Cécile McLorin Salvant grew up in a bilingual household in Miami, the child of a French mother and Haitian father. 

Her 2016 Grammy Award-winning album, For One To Love may be one of the defining jazz statements on romance. 

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Friday, August 4

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will perform at the International Tennis Hall of Fame beginning at 8 p.m. 

Trombone Shorty is best known as a trombone and trumpet player but also plays drums, organ, and tuba. He has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, pop, jazz, funk, and hip hop.

The band is made up of Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Dan Oestreicher, BK Jackson, Pete Murano, Mike Bass-Bailey, Joey Peebles. 

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Friday, August 4

Naturally 7

Naturally 7 just released thier seventh studio album titled "Both Sides Now."

Some of their previous biggest successes were notable interpretations of Global Hits from Phil Collins’ “Feel It (In The Air Tonight)”; Coldplay’s epic “Fix You” to their self- penned “Wall Of Sound”; all of which they performed during 3 world-tour with Michael Bublé in 467 shows to over 4 million people in 25 countries.

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Friday, August 4

Leslie Odom, Jr.

Leslie Odom, Jr. has most recently been seen in the blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for the role of “Aaron Burr.”

He is a Grammy Award winner as a principal soloist on Hamilton’s Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won the 2015 award for Best Musical Theater Album.

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Friday, August 4

Joey DeFrancesco + The People

DeFrancesco has recorded and/or toured with his own groups as well as numerous renowned artists that include Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, James Moody, John Scofield, Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Cobb, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, David Sanborn and many more. 

DeFrancesco’s new quartet, features him on the Hammond B-3—plus contributions on keyboards, trumpet and as a vocalist. Accompanying DeFrancesco are drummer Jason Brown, guitarist Dan Wilson and saxophonist Troy Roberts — collectively billed as the People.

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Friday, August 4

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith

Vijay Iyer and his “hero, friend and teacher”, Wadada Leo Smith. Vijay previously played extensively with Wadada in the trumpeter’s Golden Quartet. 

A 2013 Pulitzer finalist, Smith was the Jazz Journalist Association’s 2013 ‘Musician of the Year’ and ’Trumpeter of the Year’. In 2014 DownBeat named him “One of the 80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today,”

Vijay Iyer received the annual prize of the German Record Critics for his album Break Stuff, and was voted ’Jazz Artist of the Year’ in the DownBeat Critics Poll in 2012, 2015 and 2016 as well as the ‘Pianist of the Year’ in 2014.

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Friday, August 4

Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound Orchestra

Rivers of Sound is a large ensemble of instrumentalists from Western and Middle Eastern traditions, exploring the confluences of a musical language that transcends notions of tradition and style.

Composer, trumpeter, santur player and vocalist, Amir ElSaffar, an expert in Jazz and Iraqi maqam, has built his novel approach to combining musical languages through his six-piece ensemble Two Rivers.

Over the past eight years, the group has released three CD’s on Pi Recordings. Crisis, the most recent, was a Newport Jazz Festival commission. 

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Friday, August 4

Christian Sands Quartet

Christian Sands  released his Mack Avenue Records debut CD “Reach” in Spring of 2017.

He is a five-time Grammy Nominee, bringing  a fresh look to the jazz language.

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Friday, August 4

One For All

One For All is made up of some of the most in-demand players in modern jazz. The cooperative group’s celebrated lineup includes tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, trombonist Steve Davis, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist John Webber, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. 

Together, they have amassed an impressive discography of 16 recordings and are renowned worldwide for their intrepid soloing and their sublime arrangements.

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Friday, August 4

Evan Christopher Clarinet Road

Evan Christopher works to extend the legacy of the New Orleans clarinet style.  

He was drawn to New Orleans from his native California in 1994 by the rich cultural landscape and music scene. 

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Friday, August 4

Rodriguez Brothers

The Rodriguez Bros. band was formed in 2002 and has produced four critically acclaimed recordings that have led to worldwide performances.

Their recent 2016 Grammy Nominated recording “Impromptu” featured original compositions employing Afro-Cuban, South American and Jazz elements. 

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Friday, August 4

Jimmy Greene Quartet

Jimmy Greene’s new release, Beautiful Life on Mack Avenue Records, is a celebration of the life of his 6-year-old daughter, Ana Márquez-Greene, whose life was tragically taken, along with 19 other children and 6 educators, on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Greene’s latest recording, “Beautiful Life,” has been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals. The album was released by the Mack Avenue label.

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Friday, August 4

George Burton Quintet

Burton's highly anticipated debut release on saxophonist Greg Osby’s label Inner Circle Music, The Truth Of What I Am > The Narcissist features 10 original compositions produced by two-time Grammy winning bassist Derrick Hodge.

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Friday, August 4

Berklee Global Jazz Institute Workshop Ensemble 

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship through various musical disciplines, with pianist and composer Danilo Pérez as its artistic director.

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Saturday, August 5

Snarky Puppy

The band was formed by bassist and primary composer Michael League in 2003 at the University of North Texas’ Jazz Studies program.

Snarky Puppy’s grass-roots approach to the changing music industry has met major success, including two Grammy awards in three years. The first was with Lalah Hathaway on Family Dinner – Volume One for “Best R&B Performance” in 2014, and the second in 2016 for “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album” with the Metropole Orkest on Sylva. 

Fresh off of the release of its tenth album, Family Dinner – Volume Two, the band returned to its roots as an instrumental ensemble with a brand new collection of nine original songs entitled Culcha Vulcha, their first studio album in seven years, which has been nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2017.

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Saturday, August 5

Branford Marsalis Quartet

NEA Jazz Master, renowned Grammy Award winning saxophonist and Tony Award® nominee Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists in the world.

Marsalis’ most current recording with his quartet is Four MFs Playin’ Tunes. On this album, the song takes center stage, with the band members bringing their considerable musical expertise to bear, as they focus on each tune as an important musical entity unto itself and not merely a vehicle for showcasing individual talent.  

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Saturday, August 5

Rhiannon Giddens

Giddens will also be performing at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, August 4 beginning at 8 p.m. 

Giddens is the co-founder of the GRAMMY award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she also plays banjo and fiddle.

On February 24, 2017, Giddens follow-up album Freedom Highway was released. It includes 9 original songs Giddens wrote or co-wrote along with a traditional song and two civil rights-era songs, “Birmingham Sunday” and Staple Singers’ well-known “Freedom Highway,” from which the album takes its name.

Giddens’ recent televised performances include The Late Show, Austin City Limits, Later… with Jools Holland, and both CBS Saturday and Sunday Morning,

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Saturday, August 5

Christian McBride Big Band

Christian McBride is a five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning bassist/composer who, since the early ‘90s, has recorded over 300 dates as a sideman and released albums as a leader since ’95.

McBride tours consistently with his trio and his quintet, Inside Straight. He also fronts the Christian McBride Big Band, whose Mack Avenue Records recording, The Good Feeling, won the GRAMMY Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2012—his third win overall.

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Saturday, August 5

Flying Toward The Sound: For Geri, With Love

Esperanza Spalding, bass
Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
Vijay Iyer, piano
Jason Moran, piano
Christian Sands, piano

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Saturday, August 5

Jazz 100: The Music of Dizzy, Mongo and Monk

2017 marks the centennial celebration for four visionary icons of music all born in the same glorious year: Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria and Thelonious Monk. 

Jazz 100 showcases the dynamic individual artistry of each icon and the powerful unifying threads between them which helped shape and inform not only the evolution of jazz but modern music as we now recognize it. 

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Saturday, August 5

Henry Threadgill Zooid

Henry Threadgill has been celebrated as one of the most forward-thinking composers and multi-instrumentalists in American music.

2016 was a banner year for Threadgill: his work “In for a Penny, In for a Pound” was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the annual Leadership Conference of the Vietnam Veterans of America honored him with their Excellence in the Arts award, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Journalist Association, and his recording “Old Locks and Irregular Verbs” was voted the number one album of the year in both the NPR Jazz Critics Poll and the Jazz Times Critics’ Poll. 

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Saturday, August 5

Vijay Iyer Sextet'

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was described by Pitchfork as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today."

He has been voted DownBeat Magazine’s Artist of the Year three times – in 2016, 2015 and 2012. Iyer was named Downbeat’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist.

In 2014 he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University.

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Saturday, August 5

Antonio Sanchez & Migration

2014 proved to be a big year for drummer/composer/bandleader Antonio Sanchez.

Long one of the most acclaimed drummers of his generation, Sanchez’s ever-expanding musical vision was discovered by new audiences through his Golden Globe & BAFTA-nominated score for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Academy Award-winning film Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and a globe-spanning 150-city tour with the Pat Metheny Unity Group – in addition to appearing as a featured musician in Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s forthcoming biopic on Miles Davis.

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Saturday, August 5

DJ Logic’s Project Logic

DJ Logic is widely credited for introducing jazz into the hip – hop realms and is considered by most as a highly respected session musician and an innovative bandleader.

Over the years, he has built up a mountain of collaborations ranging from the likes of: MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD, CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE, VERNON REID, CHARLIE HUNTER, JACK DeJOHNETTE, JOHN MAYER, BEN HARPER, MOS DEF and THE ROOTS, to name but a few.

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Saturday, August 5

Benny Golson Quartet

Benny Golson is the only living jazz artist to have written 8 standards for jazz repertoire.

These jazz standards have found their way into countless recordings internationally over the years and are still being recorded. A prodigious writer, Golson has written well over 300 compositions.

For over 60 years, Golson has enjoyed an illustrious, musical career in which he has not only made scores of recordings but has also composed and arranged music for: Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Mama Cass Elliott, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Shirley Horn and many more.

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Saturday, August 5

Uri Caine Trio

Caine has recorded 30 albums as a leader. A new trio cd, Calibrated Thickness (816Music), with Mark Helias and Clarence Penn has just been released. Space Kiss (816 Music), an upcoming cd with the Lutoslawski String Quartet features new compostions for piano and strings.

Recent Cds include Sonic Boom with Han Bennink (816 Music 2013), Rhapsody in Blue (Winter and Winter 2013) and Callithump (Winter and Winter 2014).

He was nominated for a Grammy for the OthelloSyndrome (Winter and Winter) in 2009.

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Saturday, August 5

Dominick Farinacci

Farinacci has performed in more than 120 cities in 14 countries around the world, was a featured guest on ABC’s Good Morning America, and is a TED Speaker. 

His most recent recording “Short Stories” is produced by Tommy LiPuma. This is Tommy & Dominick’s first collaboration, and was recorded in their hometown of Cleveland at the Tommy LiPuma Center for the Arts. 

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Saturday, August 5

Gilad Hekselman

Gilad Hekselman has quickly developed a reputation as one of the most promising guitarists in New York since his arrival in 2004

He has performed at all of the major jazz clubs in New York City, and tours the world constantly with his band, and as a sidemen. He has released multiple albums to critical acclaim including SplitLife (Smalls Records) Words Unspoken(LateSet Records) Hearts Wide Open, This Just In and Homes (Harmonia Mundi).

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Saturday, August 5

JoAnne Brackeen

JoAnne Brackeen has been described as “a visionary of extraordinary depth” by Tony Bennett, and “a pianist-composer of phenomenal capacity” by the late Bill Evans. 

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Saturday, August 5

David Torkanowsky

Torkanowski has been pianist and/or musical director for The Al Hirt Big Band, Boz Scaggs, Gladys Knight, Zoot Sims, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Joe Henderson, Randy Brecker, Chuck Berry, Linda Hopkins, Slide Hampton, James Moody, The Meters, Sonny Fortune, Evan Chrisopher, Dr. John, Lionel Hampton, Zachary Richard,

He has been the composer and/or contributed music for “The Big Easy” (USA Network), “Crime Story” (NBC), “Tremé” (HBO), “Bosch” (HBO) “Sons of Guns” (Discovery), and award winning documentaries “The Big Uneasy”, directed by Harry Shearer, and “The Experiment”, a comprehensive documentary that explores the proliferation of Charter Schools in Post-Katrina New Orleans.

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Saturday, August 5

Peter Evans 

Peter Evans is a trumpet player, and improviser/composer based in New York City since 2003.

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Saturday, August 5

Jason Palmer’s Berklee Septet

Jason Palmer’s Berklee Septet is composed of some of the college’s finest student players, engaged in a six-month-long, working mentorship with trumpeter and composer Jason Palmer, assistant professor of Ensemble and Brass at Berklee.

A Steeplechase Records recording artist, and a veteran of the bands of Grace Kelly, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Turner and Matana Roberts, Palmer has been cited by DownBeat as one of the Top 25 Trumpeters of the Future.

The band will be performing compositions by Palmer, and bandmembers Zach Auslander, Domi Degalle, and Emery Mesich.

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Saturday, August 5

David Leon: ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awardee

David Leon is a Cuban-American saxophonist, woodwinds player, and composer living in Miami, FL.

He currently leads multiple ensembles including his trio “#bicmnrosfulmfrenh”, which was recognized in Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards in 2015 and 2016. 

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Saturday, August 5

Rhode Island Music Educators Association Sr. All-State Jazz Ensemble

In 2012, the RIMEA Sr. All-State Jazz Band was invited to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival, in a surprise announcement at the All-State Concert held at URI.

Since that time, nearly 80 students have had the opportunity to showcase their talent at this iconic festival in their home state.

This year the band is directed by jazz trombonist and Rhode Island’s own, Artie Montanaro. Mr. Montanaro is currently in his 32nd year of teaching at the Cranston High School West

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Sunday, August 6

The Roots

The legendary Roots Crew, consists of Black Thought (MC), Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (drums), Kamal Gray (electronic keyboards), F. Knuckles (percussion), Captain Kirk Douglas (electronic guitar), Damon Bryson (sousaphone) and James Poyser (electronic keyboard). 

The Roots were named one of the greatest live bands around by Rolling Stone, became the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where they currently perform every Monday- Friday.

The Roots celebrated the release of their 11th studio album …and then you shoot your cousin in May 2014. 

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Sunday, August 6

Andra Day

Day has been nominated for “Best R&B Performance” (“Rise Up”) and “Best R&B Album” (Cheers to the Fall) at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, as well as “Outstanding New Artist” for the 47th NAACP Image Awards. 

In the fall, Day appeared on tour with Lenny Kravitz’ for her first national tour run, completed her first sold-out headline tour, and provided the end title track for the climber drama Meru. 

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Sunday, August 6

Maria Schneider Orchestra

The Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She herself has received numerous commissions and guest-conducting invites, working with over 85 groups from over 30 countries. 

Schneider and her orchestra have a distinguished recording career with twelve GRAMMY nominations and five GRAMMY awards.

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Sunday, August 6

Hudson

This all-star band calls themselves Hudson, named after the Hudson River Valley they each call home. Drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Larry Grenadier, keyboardist John Medeski, and guitarist John Scofield team up to celebrate their musical histories and Jack’s 75th birthday year in a tour de force of creative interplay.

Their June 2017 album release and performances will feature original compositions as well, inspired by their surrounds and each other. This is a band with wide ranging appeal.

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Sunday, August 6

Philadelphia Experiment

Three-day recipe for pure funk: throw three masters of different flavors of funk in a room together, give them virtually no artistic preparation or direction and lock the door for two days. on day three, add one extra ingredient just to make it interesting, and keep the doors locked. remove from the studio and serve to millions.

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Sunday, August 6

Jason Moran: Fats Waller Dance Party

Pianist and composer Jason Moran has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole.

For more than a decade, Moran and his trio The Bandwagon have dazzled audiences at elite venues worldwide, including the Village Vanguard in New York, the Newport Jazz Festival, and the North Sea Jazz Festival. 

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Sunday, August 6

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil

Snakeoil, Tim Berne’s new touring band, is a potent blend of new voices and new ideas.

Oscar Noriega (woodwinds), Matt Mitchell (piano) and Ches Smith (percussion and vibes) bring fresh sounds and vibrant energy.

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Sunday, August 6

Bokanté

The word bokanté means “exchange” in Creole, the language of vocalist Malika Tirolien’s youth growing up on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

The band’s debut album, “Strange Circles,” goes from Zeppelin-esque blues stomp to folkloric Caribbean kaladja over the course its ten tracks, blending the extensive and varied knowledge of the individual players with a strong, yet empathetic, lyrical approach. 

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Sunday, August 6

Theo Croker

Theo Croker’s 2016 release “Escape Velocity” is ranked the #1 Jazz Album in the UK by Echoes Magazine.

The accolades continue worldwide with iTunes (Global), The Observer (US) and others naming the album as one of the Top Jazz albums of 2016. With a global spotlight release on iTunes and Amazon, now over 1.5 million cumulative streams on Spotify, and nearly 1 million streams for the track “No Escape from Bliss” it is clear that listeners agree.

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Sunday, August 6

Cyrus Chestnut Trio

Born in 1963, Chestnut started his musical career at the age of three, playing piano at the Mount Calvary Star Baptist Church at the age of five in his hometown of Baltimore, MD.

In the fall of 1981, Cyrus began jazz education in Boston, MA at the Berklee College of Music, where he earned a degree in jazz composition and arranging.

There’s a Brighter Day Coming was his first self-released album, followed by The Nutman Speaks (1992), The Nutman Speaks Again (1992), Another Direction (1993). 

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Sunday, August 6

Sean Jones Quintet

Jones is currently performing with the quartet on his latest CD, who have been working together since 2007 – with pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Obed Calvaire.

He recently joined the Berklee College of Music’s distinguished faculty as the Chair of the Brass Department.

He has also taught at Duquesne University in his adopted hometown of Pittsburgh and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, while regularly offering master classes and clinics all around the world.

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Sunday, August 6

Cyrille Aimée

In August 2014, The New York Times referred to Aimée’s major label release It’s a Good Day as “a bravura turn, presented with a smile.”

With Let’s Get Lost, her second album for Mack Avenue Records, she blossomed into a full-fledged artist.

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Sunday, August 6

Vernon Reid

Around 1983, Reid formed the first version of what was to become Living Colour; in 1985, with journalist Greg Tate, he formed the Black Rock Coalition.

Reid has continued to make periodic appearances on others’ recordings, and in 1996, he issued his solo debut, Mistaken Identity. Most recently, Vernon has been continuing to work and tour with DJ Logic’s “Project Logic,” and the Burnt Sugar Arkestra, working on film scores, leading his large band project “Hexadecimal Gris-Gris” and producing projects such as “MazzMuse: The Band.”

The new Living Colour record “Shade” will be released Autumn 2017.

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Sunday, August 6

John Medeski

Keyboard master John Medeski thrives on the unpredictable, a trait that has kept his work fresh and surprising throughout his decades-long career. 

His first solo piano project, A Different Time, is a more introspective collection, recorded on a 1924 Gaveau piano and released on Sony Classical’s newly-revived OKeh records imprint in 2013. 

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Sunday, August 6

Marilyn Crispell

Marilyn Crispell has been a composer and performer of contemporary improvised music since 1978. For ten years, she was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet and the Reggie Workman Ensemble, and she has performed and recorded extensively as a soloist and with players on the American and international jazz scene, also working with dancers, poets, film-makers and visual artists, and teaching workshops in improvisation.

She has been the recipient of three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust composition commission.

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Sunday, August 6

Orrin Evans

Evans’ scintillating new album, The Evolution of Oneself (Smoke Sessions), takes stock of the pivotal moments that have shaped his distinctive trajectory.

The album is one more landmark in his musical evolution, introducing a remarkable new piano trio with two longtime associates but first-time collaborators: bassist Christian McBride and drummer Karriem Riggins. 

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Sunday, August 6

Newport Jazz Assembly Band

The Newport Jazz Assembly is a program conceived by URI graduate, Ben Marcoux and presented at over 35 schools and heard by over 10,000 students. 

Each NJA band member brings their own passion for jazz and their joy in sharing it with students, many of whom have not heard a live music concert before. Members of the NJA band perform regularly as leaders and sidemen in RI, NY and CT and they are: Ben Marcoux, woodwinds, alto and tenor saxophone, Joshua Bruneau, trumpet, Jimmy O’Connell, trombone, Noah Barker, piano/keyboards, Alex Tremblay, bass, Tony Davis, guitar and Mike Camacho, drums.

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Sunday, Augut 6

University of Rhode Island Big Band

Along with past performances at the Newport Jazz Festival, the URI Jazz Big Band has in the past performed at Lincoln Center, won first place at the MIT New England Intercollegiate Jazz Festival, and performed at many concerts and events on campus and throughout New England.

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Sunday, August 6

Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Band

The Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s All-State Jazz Band has appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival since 2013.

Featuring the best students from around the state, the MMEA All-State Jazz Band is presented at Boston’s magnificent Symphony Hall during MMEA’s annual all-state festival.

This year’s band will be directed by Ronald Carter, Professor Emeritus from Northern Illinois University.

 
 

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