In a DownBeat magazine review of the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, Allen Morrison wrote that "a festival as significant and storied as Newport can be a force for good or evil, wielding influence far in excess of its three-day duration. Considering its provenance...it is more than a tastemaker, it's a market-maker."
I welcomed these words as I read them in DownBeat. Our staff works literally all year long to produce the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. We know that there's a global influence in what we do with these two festivals. The jazz festival in particular has an international significance. Festival producers from all over the world join us to celebrate the beauty and glory that is jazz music.
Also, with all the young and emerging artists we present, there is the chance that you might be getting an early look at potential stars of the future. I have been producing Newport Jazz since 1954 and this year's festival ranks with the finest I've had the privilege of creating.
Rain, Rain stayed away. And all the musicians came out to play. And play they did. To as enthusiastic an audience as I've ever seen. Every musician left the stage happy from their performance because of the way the audience received their musical contribution to the festival. Most important to it all is the spirit you, the audience, generates as the music from the different stages fills the air over the Narragansett Bay.
It's difficult for me to recall any specific highlights because I was too busy running around in my Wein Machine, trying to hear as much as possible. But it is great to see how the festival continues to grow with a younger audience.
The question for me is what do we do next year? It is the same problem I have had for the past 61 years of my life. Keep in touch. I know we will figure out something.
See you at next year's festival. The dates are July 29-31, 2016.
Don't lose the beat,