Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another jazz postcard from Newport

Even in fine weather, the logistics are mind-boggling. Three stages running simultaneously, with jazz to savor set by set or as a smorgasbord. Forty-three different acts over three afternoons at Fort Adams State Park, and two evening sets at historic Newport Casino, better known today as the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

The fans turned out despite heavy rain on Saturday, August 2 and intermittent drizzle on Sunday. This was the 60th anniversary edition of producer George Wein's first festival - and the sea of colorful umbrellas, ponchos and rain suits added to the ambience. The mud, not so much.

Newport Casino was home to the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954. That first year it was called the American Jazz Festival and it quickly became the model for summer outdoor music festivals. This was my 33rd festival in 34 years, covering for various employers and freelance assignments. This year, it was for JazzTimes and jazztimes.com.Here are a few more visual memories.
Saxophonist Walter Blanding Jr.'s extended opening night solo on the  of "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" as Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra honors the great Duke Ellington-Paul Gonsalves 1956 moment.


The SFJAZZ Collective front line



Django Reinhardt Festival All-Stars
Larry Grenadier, Newport Now 60 band


Keeping them dry


Drummer Brian Blade

Pianist Vijay Iyer's sextet

As George Wein said in 1954: "A little rain can't stop us"

Percussionist Roman Diaz takes a selfie
Darcy James Argue signs CDs
Snarky Puppy on the Quad Stage


Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks

Trombone Shorty fans in a Second Line strut

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