Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60

Upcoming Events / March 2014 / Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60

Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60

Sunday, March 9, 2014, 8 pm
Merriam Theater
250 South Broad Street
Philadelpia, PA 19102

Newport Jazz Festival®: Now 60 celebrates both the great history of the Newport Jazz Festival® and it’s current role as one of the most active presenters of contemporary jazz artists in the world.

The Newport Jazz Festival’s historical moments and recordings have been well documented but during the past 10 years, the festival has made fresh news by continuing to be at the forefront of discovering talent and nurturing the incredible creative community of jazz and related music that thrives today.

George Wein, the producer of the festival since it’s inception in 1954, and now at 88-years young, continues to hear live jazz in the clubs of NYC on a regular basis and has focused the programming of the festival towards the young composers and musicians who perform nightly in those venues.

The title of the tour celebrates the longevity of the festival while recognizing the relevance it enjoys today. As the concert repertoire will span the ages, from Louis, Duke and Miles to Latin, Brazilian and more, the group’s musical director, chart-topping clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen, is a perfect ambassador for the Newport Jazz Festival® tour. She’s a master of swing, be-bop and New Orleans music in addition to Brazilian, Latin & gypsy music.

The touring ensemble also features renowned, multi-Grammy nominated vocalist Karrin Allyson, who sings fluently in three languages; 5-time Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker, versatile guitarist Mark Whitfield, masterful pianist Peter Martin, swingin’ drummer Clarence Penn and imaginative bassist Ben Allison. Collectively, these musicians have recorded hundreds of albums featuring vast styles of music and will bring this incredible wealth of experience to the stage for the first time.


Philadelphia Inquirer

For the last six decades, the joy of jazz has been celebrated in an ideal setting at the Newport Jazz Festival. Founded by impresario George Wein in 1954, the festival set the template for the modern jazz festival and has produced countless memorable moments and changed the fortunes of many a musician. Duke Ellington resurrected his flagging career with his exuberant 1956 performance, and the festival served as the backdrop for the Frank Sinatra/Grace Kelly musical High Society.
“Over the years it’s launched people’s careers and revived careers that have slowed down,” says clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen. “I love the spirit of the festival.”
Cohen is the music director for Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60, a multigenerational ensemble assembled by Wein to celebrate the festival’s diamond anniversary. The Israeli-born reeds player will be joined onstage at the Merriam Theater on Sunday night by trumpeter Randy Brecker, vocalist Karrin Allyson, guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Peter Martin, drummer Clarence Penn, and bassist Ben Allison.
“Representing this festival is a tricky one because George has programmed the festival from the beginning as a combination of modern and traditional,” Cohen says, citing the 1963 teaming of bop pioneer Thelonious Monk with Dixieland clarinetist Pee Wee Russell. “A band needs to show the spirit of jazz, the spirit of interaction and of finding a common language between musicians who come from different backgrounds. We represent the spirit of the festival.”