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Foundation grants enable Newport Jazz Festival to showcase “emerging” artists
By Lauren Paola / December 4, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
The Newport Festivals Foundation (NFF) will add a third day of music featuring new and emerging artists at the 60th anniversary of the historic Newport Jazz Festival thanks to $40,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation.

The three-day festival now will kick off on Friday, August 1, at Fort Adams State Park with performances by emerging artists including Miguel Zenón and Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, as well as John Zorn. Tickets will be priced at $40.

“We are grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for their generous contribution toward a third day of concerts. We look forward to presenting a line-up of emerging artists, some young, and others who might be considered veterans but have only recently emerged as icons in the jazz realm,” said George Wein, producer of the Newport Jazz Festival and NFF chairman. “We are proud to be able to present an entire day of musicians who may represent the future of jazz. The artistry of these musicians must be heard. This will be a unique contribution from the Newport Jazz Festival in fulfilling its mission, which is to make the public aware of the ever-evolving art form that is jazz.”

The Foundation awarded $30,000 through its Emerging Issues Fund and $10,000 through the Susan F. Gonsalves Charitable Fund.

“It is our pleasure to support one of the world’s most renowned music events as it expands its international reach through a third day,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “The fact that this outstanding festival was founded and nurtured in Rhode Island is a source of great pride. We are equally excited that the grant will be used to not only introduce emerging artists, but also to build new audiences in our state and beyond.”

Zenón’s performance will be inspired by the Puerto Rican experience in the United States and will feature video and audio clips accompanying the music. Argue’s Secret Society will be performing the U.S. debut of a new piece commissioned by the Hard Rubber Orchestra in Vancouver.

Wein added, “In the past three years, we have been able to present more than 30 relatively unknown artists. We now are happy to see that some of these artists are already being presented at other festivals throughout the world. Adding the third day will increase the opportunity for the Newport Jazz Festival to present young artists that should become known to jazz fans.”

Joining Wein and the Foundation at the Newport Visitors Center to make the announcement were State Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop, and Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

“This grant is in keeping with the many worthwhile investments in our state made by the Rhode Island Foundation. It will benefit the emerging performers showcased during an added day of the world-renowned Newport Jazz Festival,” said Paiva Weed. “Local businesses will also benefit, as visitors from near and far are attracted to the city. It’s something that helps to further distinguish Rhode Island as the State of the Arts.”

“We're thrilled that the Rhode Island Foundation's support will allow the Newport Jazz Festival to program an additional day of work by young, innovative, and emerging artists. This is the best way to energize local artists and audiences, with the newest and best that Rhode Island and the world has to offer. We applaud the commitment to the next generation of jazz masters,” said Rosenbaum.

Tickets for the inaugural Friday event at Fort Adams are available through Ticketmaster at http://www.newportjazzfest.organd at the Newport Visitors Information Center (NVIC), 23 America’s Cup Avenue in Newport. For NVIC hours, go to www.discovernewport.org.

The program will continue on August 2 and 3 with a line-up of jazz legends as well as rising performers. The Festival is presented by Natixis Global Asset Management. The three-day event will feature concerts at Fort Adams, the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino, and The Breakers, where the annual NFF Gala will be held August 2. The complete line-up for the Newport Jazz Festival will be announced in January.
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