Monday, March 10, 2014

Building the future for jazz, one student ticket at a time

George Wein
George Wein remembers an evening back in the early 1940s when, as a high school student, he got a chance to hear Duke Ellington live for the first time. It was at Roseland State Ballroom in Boston, and he was in high school. Wein says memories of that night likely planted the seed for his career as a jazz pianist, club owner and festival producer.
He wants to ensure that sort of exposure has an impact on young people today, through heavily discounted student ticketing to the Newport Jazz Festival. The first such ticket option at Newport last August drew 2,000 high school and college students – at $20 a pop. This year Wein is making 5,000 student tickets available over the festival’s three days at Fort Adams State Park. (It’s a bargain compared to the adult general admission cost of $40 on Friday, August 1, and $84 on Saturday and Sunday, August 2-3.

This is a great way to attract younger ears to jazz, and to the jazz festival experience. In Wein’s words: “Once jazz becomes a part of your life, it never disappears. It is always there. All I can say is that a love of jazz music enhances your enjoyment and appreciation of what life has to offer.”

This is a historic year to expand that commitment, as it is the 50th edition of the Newport Jazz Festival and 60th anniversary of its founding in 1954. Here’s a link to the site for advance purchase of student tickets.

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