He knows he won't be around forever, but wants to ensure the festival will be. So he's taken a multi-faceted approach to sustain the event, showcase newer generations of musicians, and help build the future talent base and audience for jazz.
The foundation and the jazz festival's primary sponsor, Natixis Global Asset Management, are also initiating a performance and scholarship program that will begin at the Newport Jazz Festival in August. The Rhode Island Music Educators Association's all-state high school jazz band will be the opening act on Saturday, August 4, and a selected student musician from that band will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
Natixis and the foundation reached a new three-year sponsorship agreement that includes the scholarship commitment. Wein said the new partnership "now reinforces the joint commitment of both of our organizations to help talented young performers develop future careers as professional musicians."
Two companion initiatives also continue this year. One showcases young jazz artists from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
- On Sunday, August 5, the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors (with drummer Adam Cruz as special guest) will open the main stage concerts at Fort Adams State Park. The group includes participants in Berklee's Global Jazz Institute.
- The other continuing initiative brings busloads of inner-city music students to the festival from Providence and other cities in the Northeast for free, enabling them to experience the event, meet and talk with production staff and musicians backstage, and expand their arts horizons.