NEWPORT, RI: The Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival have seen generations of fans grow up over the past six decades. This summer, in celebration of the music of the iconic events, Newport Festivals Foundation presents its inaugural Family Concert on Thursday, August 1, at 5:30 pm at Fort Adams State Park. Held during Newport’s annual BridgeFest, the free concert features jazz vocalist Amy Cervini and The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys in a special concert for young people.
“If you ask people where they acquired their taste for the sounds they love, many will say it’s in their blood – they grew up listening to their parents’ music like I did, ” said George Wein, Chairman of Newport Festivals Foundation and producer of the Newport Folk and Jazz festivals. “When you see folks sharing music with their little ones as you walk around the festivals, you know that special memories are being made. We look forward to providing more family events as we continue the tradition and build on the legacy of the festivals.”
The free, hour-long concert will be held under a tent inside historic Fort Adams. In addition to the music, families can enjoy the Fort, the beauty of Narragansett Bay and other activities for children. The concert is recommended for all ages, but particularly for children ages 1-10.
Jazz Kids! with Amy Cervini is a fun, interactive performance featuring kid-friendly jazz songs. Cervini is a jazz-honed singer who reaches far and wide for great material, from Cole Porter to Leonard Cohen, Nellie McKay and Willie Nelson. In January 2012, the Toronto-bred, New York-based vocalist released her third solo album on Anzic Records, Digging Me, Digging You, in homage to Blossom Dearie. This follows the albums Love Fool (2009) and Famous Blue (2007). She works regularly with her North Americana group, Jazz Country, as well as the vocal ensemble Monday Off. Performing with Jazz Kids! are pianist Michael Cabe, bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Ernesto Cervini.
Following their stellar debut at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival, The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys return to Newport in a perfect example of kids sharing music with kids. Eleven year-old banjo sensation Jonny Mizzone along with his brothers Robbie (13) on fiddle, and Tommy (15) on guitar, were catapulted to fame following their YouTube bedroom practice videos, which led to over 10 million views and performances on numerous network TV shows. Reaping their inspiration from the 1950’s music of Flatt & Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers, the Boys were named official Martin Guitar Ambassadors and made their Grand Ole Opry debut last year. Their first album, America’s Music, recorded in Nashville, debuted on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Chart as the 8th most popular bluegrass album in the country.
The Newport Folk Festival takes place at Fort Adams State Park July 26 – 28 with Feist, The Avett Brothers, Beck, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jim James, The Lumineers and more. Saturday and Sunday are sold out; for information and tickets for Friday, go to newportfolkfest.org. The Newport Jazz Festival is set for August 2 – 4 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino and Fort Adams, featuring Natalie Cole, Wayne Shorter with special guest Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Eddie Palmieri, Marcus Miller and more.
The Newport Festivals Foundation was founded by George Wein in 2010 to build and continue the legacies of the famed Newport Jazz Festival® and Newport Folk Festival®. Under the auspices of the Foundation, the festivals present performers who respect and honor jazz and folk music traditions, and at the same time reflect the changes in today's musical trends. Through the establishment of partnerships with local high schools, colleges/universities and other organizations, the Foundation will present programs to educate young people about jazz and folk music as presented at the annual festivals.
The Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County created BridgeFest to bridge the world-famous Newport Folk and Jazz festivals by giving music enthusiasts a reason to stay and locals a reason to celebrate. By making Newport County an eclectic entertainment haven, music aficionados can enjoy Newport’s exciting music scene and activities during the 10-day period. Set for July 29 – August 1, BridgeFest 2013 also includes Busking at Bowen’s Wharf, films, concerts, a clambake and a Conversation with George Wein at Rough Point.