Jul 28, 2013
Since its beginning in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival has delivered line-ups that have both showcased jazz history and predicted it, while the city of Newport has lent the festival an unparalleled home steeped in history and culture. When you throw in fans that really are more of a community than an audience, you have much more than just a series of concerts of a weekend.
The Festival left the friendly confines of Newport in 1972 for New York City, an decision which was corrected a decade later when it came back to Rhode Island, giving the New York festival its own .persona as the JVC Jazz Festival. Now back as a permanent part of the summer schedule in New England, the 2013 Festival should be memorable in many ways.
The music kicks off on Friday, August 2 with "An Unforgettable Evening" of Natalie Cole, joined by the Bill Charlap Trio and her Uncle, Freddie Cole. The next day is a magical mix of the established stars (Wayne Shorter Quartet with Special Guest Herbie Hancock; Marcus Miller; Michel Camilo Sextet; Terence Blanchard Quintet) with rising stars (Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society; Robert Glasper Experiment; Gregory Porter; Rez Abbasi Trio).
Sunday brings out the larger ensembles (Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra; Dizzy Gillespie Big Band under the direction of Paquito D'Rivera; Dirty Dozen Brass Band) and some exciting new formats and collaborations, including Chick Corea’s new band The Vigil with Christian McBride, Tim Garland, Marcus Gilmore, & Charles Altura and the Jim Hall Quartet featuring Julian Lage.
My conversation with producer Danny Melnick about the Festival can be found in Podcast 366, where you can listen to his picks for special performances, and listen to music from some of the participants, including:
Marcus Miller – “Redemption” from Renaissance.
Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band – “Sweet Chicago Suite - Same Day” from Sweet Chicago Suite.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band “Don’t Stop the Music” from Twenty Dozen.
Jim Hall Quartet – “Chelsea Bridge” from Live at Birdland.