Monday, July 18, 2022

Newport Jazz Festival beckons again

The 2022 edition of the storied Newport Jazz Festival is fast approaching. The three-day event at Fort Adams State Park, overlooking picturesque Newport harbor, will be back to full strength.

Ron Carter, Gary Bartz
After a pandemic pause that shelved the event in 2020 and a two-stage festival with reduced capacity and half the usual acts last year, 2022 brings 54 acts on three stages. That's right... 18 sets of music per day on July 29, 30 and 31.

Mainstream jazz, pop-infused jazz, and a smattering of R&B and hip-hop influenced acts fill the bill. Festival headliners include singer-pianist Norah Jones, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, bassist and singer esparanza spalding, and singers Angelique Kidjo and Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Saxophonist Gary Bartz, drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Ron Carter, who turned 85 on May 4, are the festival elders amid a lineup that seems to get younger by the year. Newport draws a demographically wide-ranging crowd where there are a lot more younger faces in the audience than seen at a lot of other jazz venues. That is a good thing.