Newport Jazz Festival 2012: A Celebration of Diversity

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Tickets are selling briskly for the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival! To everyone’s surprise last year, the festivals ended with a surplus of several hundred thousand dollars, after the Newport Festivals Foundation invested $3 million in both festivals, the Associated Press reported.

What was the impetus for setting up a nonprofit foundation?

In a phone interview prior to last years' jazz festival George Wein explained, “The only way to get help is to go not-for-profit. I'm working pro-bono, it has nothing to do with business, for it's purely success I'm looking for." Thanks George, jazz is back and this surplus will allow the foundation to educate future jazz students.

A foundation goal is “to present programs to educate young people about jazz and folk music.” This year students from nine different high schools took part in a program called Pathways to Jazz at Salve Regina University.

How did George Wein restart after being away for years? He called on long time friends, prosperous associates and sponsors to join in supporting the new foundation.

For example, John Hailer, Natixis Global's President suggested highlighting aspiring young jazz performers that this year will feature The Rhode Island Music Educators Association all-star, all-state band of high school jazz musicians. Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s will continue to support commissions for new compositions to debut at the 2012 Festival. Carolyn Rafaelian, Alex and Ani's designer of eco-friendly jewelry joined “to share the art of jewelry and music." After an absence, Danny Melnick of Absolutely Live Entertainment is now one of the festival's producers.

Jazz communicates with everyone. When our musicians are heard anywhere in the world America is recognized as the incubator of freedom of expression. As the pianist and vocalist touring with his Newport All-Stars, George Wein becomes our ambassador of jazz.

To get involved go to the website and donate to the A HREF=www.http://www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org/index.php?id=5 TARGET=_blank>Newport Festival Foundation.

Photo Credit
Ayano Hisa

This story appears courtesy of Watch Jazz Happen by Dan Kassell.
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