NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) – The soulful, syncopated rhythms of sweet jazz music filled Fort Adams and the surrounding Newport Harbor, beckoning thousands to Newport’s annual Jazz Festival, one week after thousands braved a heat wave for the Newport Folk Festival.
Central to both festivals was founder George Wein, who died last year. His memory was honored throughout Fort Adams, both with signs, and with a private reception that attracted the likes of Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island’s former governor, of course), as well as current Governor Dan McKee, Senator Jack Reed, Congressman David Cicilline, and Congressman Jim Langevin.
But to most festival-goers, it was the world-renowned jazz stars on center stage that they were there to see. Friday night, Norah Jones headlined along with Terence Blanchard, Lettuce, and Nicholas Payton Trio.
Saturday, Samara Joy wowed audiences as well as Cecile Mclorin Salvant and Esperanza Spalding among many other talents.
Sunday promises to be just as exciting with a special tribute to George Wein, as well as performances by a day full of musicians and singers including The Ron Carter Quartet, The Soul Rebels, and Melissa Aldana.
General Admission tickets for all three days were sold out, but some single day tickets were still available.