NEW YORK, NY, November 27, 2012 – December kicks off in grand style for George Wein, Chairman of the Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. The jazz impresario brings a stellar group of musicians/friends – Howard Alden, Bob Wilber, Anat Cohen, Jon-Erik Kellso, Jay Leonhart and Chuck Riggs – to Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street, on Sunday, December 2, 8:00 - 10:00 pm. Then, on Tuesday, December 4, at 6:00 pm, he will be honored for his contributions to jazz at the Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) Second Annual Gala.
Wein’s appearance at Feinstein’s wraps up the 2012 weekly concert series presented by Arbor Records. For more information and reservations, please call (212) 339-4095.
“Performing at Feinstein’s reminds me of the good old days when I owned and ran Storyville in Boston’s Copley Square Hotel,” said Wein. “While I love my life in today’s music scene, I cherish the memories of yesterday when people from all over the world gathered around the bandstand to hear great jazz from the biggest and brightest stars of the day. There’s no question that my life in jazz would be different if Louis and Elaine Lorillard hadn’t walked into Storyville and planted the seed that later became the Newport Jazz Festival. I look forward to returning to Feinstein’s and sharing the magic of jazz in this renowned nightclub.”
The Louis Armstrong House Museum honor also has special meaning for Wein.
“Louis Armstrong has been a major influence on my life,” added Wein. “Hearing his music at an early age helped direct the life I have chosen to follow. I owe a great deal of what I have achieved in life to my love of Louis Armstrong and the musical language he created.”
At the LAHM Gala at Manhattan Penthouse, 80 Fifth Avenue, Wein will be joined by fellow honorees saxophonist Jimmy Heath and Stanley Crouch, President of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. Louis and Lucille Armstrong’s house is now a National Historic Landmark, which is open to visitors six days a week throughout the year. The Museum houses the world’s largest archives for any jazz musician and presents a variety of public programs, including children’s concerts, jazz concerts, exhibits, scholarly lectures and book signings. For more information on the Gala and the Museum, please contact Nayelli DiSpaltro at (718) 997-3589/ firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.louisarmstronghouse.org.
George Wein is considered to be as much a legend as his festivals. Through his company, Festival Productions, he has spearheaded hundreds of music events since 1954 when he produced the first Newport Jazz Festival® - an event that started the festival era. He followed the success of America's first annual outdoor jazz festival with the Newport Folk Festival® in 1959. In 1970, Wein founded the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He pioneered the idea of sponsor association with music events, beginning with The Schlitz Salute to Jazz and the Kool Jazz Festival. His company went on to produce titled events for JVC, Mellon Bank, Verizon, Essence, Ben & Jerry’s, CareFusion and others.
At 87, Wein has as much creative fuel as he did when he started the Newport festivals and advanced the concept of live music. In 2010, he founded Newport Festivals Foundation™, a 501(c) (3) organization created to help maintain these festivals into the future.
As a result of his diverse contributions to jazz and world culture, Wein has been honored by heads of state, educational institutions and leading publications. He was named an NEA Jazz Master (Jazz Advocate) in 2005 and in 2012 was given the APAP Award of Merit for Achievement in Performing Arts. In addition, honors and awards have been bestowed upon him by Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, AARP, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the French Legion d’Honneur, Chile’s Order of Bernardo O’Higgins and other organizations around the world. Wein is the recipient of honorary degrees from the Berklee College of Music, Rhode Island College of Music, Five Towns College and North Carolina Central. He is a lifetime Honorary Trustee of Carnegie Hall and a member of the Board of Trustees at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Wein's autobiography, Myself Among Others: A Life in Music (Da Capo Press), has become a major reference on jazz history. In addition to his life in jazz, Wein has a long history of involvement with philanthropy and the arts, including the establishment of the Joyce and George Wein Chair of African American Studies at Boston University, the Alexander Family Endowed Scholarship Fund at Simmons College and the Joyce Alexander Wein Prize at the Studio Museum in Harlem. An accomplished jazz pianist, Wein performs regularly with his Newport All-Stars.