JazzTimes.com has just posted an extensive variety of my photos, and three by my daughter, Heather, (see one of her's here of Charles Lloyd) documenting the 2011 edition of the Newport Jazz Festival. It was a terrific all-around weekend despite horrific downpours and steady rain for more than of Sunday's finale, for which the festival had sold about 5,000 tickets, but between no shows and early leavers, the crowd likely totaled no more than 2,000 toward day's end. But as sometimes happens at Newport, the rain was just another challenge that adds to the emotional atmosphere for the musicians, who persevered through it all.
Relative youngsters Esparanza Spalding, Hiromi and Trombone Shorty performed both days and 19-year-old alto player Grace Kelly teamed with 79-year-old Phil Woods in what turned out to be festival highlights, though there was plenty of music for all ages and stylistic tastes on the three stages at Fort Adams State Park. As posted earlier, Saturday was a spectacular day both for the music and the dry, comfortable weather, drawing some 7,500 attendees.
Kudos to George Wein and his team for their programming this year, and resolve to keep the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival going well into the future under the aegis of the new nonprofit Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. Show your support.