Newport Jazz Festival Gets New Vision With Christian McBride

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Monday July 25, 2016

From Billboard
By Associated Press

Newport Jazz Festival Gets New Vision With Christian McBride

Christian McBride is no stranger to the main stage at the Newport Jazz Festival and this year he’ll again be up there in a trio with pianist Chick Corea and drummer Brian Blade. But he’ll also be turning his attention to a new role backstage as he takes over as artistic director from festival founder George Wein.

The virtuoso bassist said Newport continues to be among the top festivals in the world, and he’s approaching his new role with the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Wein founded the jazz festival in 1954 after tobacco heiress Elaine Lorillard asked him to liven up the quiet summer scene in the resort town dotted with Gilded Age mansions. It was the first outdoor jazz festival and has since inspired open-air music festivals around the world. In 1959, he founded the Newport Folk Festival.

Next weekend’s jazz fest, now held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and at Fort Adams overlooking Narragansett Bay, is also scheduled to include performances by Gregory Porter, Norah Jones, Galactic and Angélique Kidjo.

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