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
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.This will be my 41st consecutive Newport Jazz Festival as an assigned journalist and/or photographer. I'm particularly looking forward to the healthy mix of New Orleans artists on the bill: Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, pianist Sullivan Fortner, PJ Morton, the Tuba Skinny trad jazz/Americana band, The Nth Power and The Soul Rebels brass band.
As I view it, the fact that this Rhode Island festival continues in robust fashion after more than a few fits and starts through the years, makes the entire weekend a tribute to George Wein and his imprint on the arts of presenting and producing musical events. His vision and impact on jazz and music festivals around the globe since Newport's beginning in 1954, are almost beyond measure.