Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Newport 2013 - an abundance of jazz riches

The 2013 edition of the Newport Jazz Festival dilemma is fast approaching. The weekend of August 2, 3 and 4 offers more than 30 bands to check out of varying demographics and styles.

Other than the opening night festivities with Natalie Cole, her uncle, Freddy Cole, and the Bill Charlap trio at historic Newport Casino (the International Tennis Hall of Fame), the others are blended across three different stages on Saturday and Sunday at Fort Adams State Park overlooking Newport Harbor.

It's virtually impossible to catch more than a snippet of everything, with staggered starting times on all three stages. Some of us trot from one to another for a few songs of each. Others will camp in one location and savor a full set of a favorite musician or two. There is no set listener formula. Just do what works.

Fortunately there is music for virtually every jazz taste.

Here are some that I'm really anxious to check out:
Michel Camilo and Joe Lovano
Newport 2009
  • Saxophonist Wayne Shorter's 80th birthday concert (he becomes an octogenarian on August 25) with his longstanding quartet and special guest Herbie Hancock.
  • Pianist Michel Camilo's sextet (in past Newport appearances, he has performed either solo or with his trio (once with Joe Lovano as special guest).
  • Singer Gregory Porter, who has had two acclaimed albums on the Motema label and will be out this fall with his Blue Note debut.
  • Jim Hall's quartet with fellow guitarist Julian Lage guesting.
  • The New Orleans musical flavorings of pianist Jonathan Batiste and his band Stay Human, as well as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
  • Seemingly ageless drummer Roy Haynes' Fountain of Youth Band. The Boston native is still going strong at 88. 
    Hiromi, Newport 2006
  • Guitarist David Gilmore's band Numerology with Claudia Acuna, Miguel Zenon, Luis Perdomo, Christian McBride, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Mino Cinelu.
  • The exciting pianist Hiromi, who is back with her trio project.
Fingers are crossed that a few choice picks aren't running simultaneously.

Check out the full lineup at the festival website to start your own checklist.

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