Newport Jazz Festival

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Newport Jazz Festival

Newport Jazz Festival, annual summer music festival, probably the best known of all such festivals, held at Newport, R.I. Originally sponsored by Newport socialites Mr. and Mrs. Louis Lorillard and jazz impresario George Wein, the festival held its first performance in July, 1954. It has presented a wide variety of performers including such musical greats as Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis as well as many other American and European artists. Riots caused performance cancellations in 1960, 1969, and 1971, and in 1972 the festival was moved to New York City. It became a two-site festival in 1981 when it resumed in Newport. Sponsored by JVC since 1984, the festival was officially known as the JVC Jazz Festival from 1986; Wein directed the festival until 2007, when he sold his company. JVC-sponsored festivals also have been held in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Paris, Warsaw, and elsewhere. JVC ended its sponsorship of jazz in 2009, and Festival Network, the festivals' producer, was unable to mount the Newport and New York events. With the sponsorship of CareFusion Corporation, Wein revived the Newport festival in 2009 and the New York one in 2010.

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