Newport Jazz Festival Information
The Newport Jazz Festival is an American multi-day jazz music festival every summer. Elaine Lorillard founded the festival in 1954, and she and her husband, Louis Lorillard, supported it for many years. George Wein was engaged in arranging the first event and bringing jazz to Rhode Island. The festival is held at Fort Adams State Park in Newport. It frequently coincides with the Newport Folk Festival.
The Newport Jazz Festival first took place in 1954 at Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island's Bellevue Avenue Historic District. It featured live musical performances as well as scholarly panel discussions. The live concerts were held in a grassy area. Stan Kenton emceed these performances, which featured several prominent jazz musicians, including Billie Holiday.
Various performances were recorded and released as albums, and most of the early festivals were carried on Voice of America radio. The Newport Jazz Festival was relocated to New York City in 1972. When it was moved back to Newport in 1981, it became a two-site festival, with the New York portion continuing. The festival was entitled the JVC Jazz Festival from 1984 to 2008; due to the economic slump in 2009, CareFusion replaced JVC.
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