“Newport Jazz Festival : Now 60” Tour Celebrates Iconic Newport Jazz Festival

“Newport Jazz Festival : Now 60” Tour Celebrates Iconic Newport Jazz Festival across the Nation

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the world-renowned Newport Jazz Festival (August 1-3, 2014), npjfest60clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen, vocalist/pianist Karrin Allyson, bassists Larry Grenadier and Ben Allison, pianist Peter Martin, guitarist Mark Whitfield, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and drummer Clarence Penn embark on the 17-city “Newport Jazz Festival : Now 60” Tour, February 8 – March 30, 2014, with more dates during June, July and August in North America and Europe.

This multi-gender, multi-national and multi-generational group of musicians was especially selected by festival founder/producer George Wein, in conjunction with his long-time associates and the tour’s producers, Danny Melnick of Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC and Darlene Chan of FestivalWest, Inc., to represent the incredible diversity of talent that the Newport Jazz Festival has presented over the last six decades. (Melnick is also the associate producer of the Newport Jazz Festival .)

“I’ve put together some excellent all-star ensembles in the past, but this group is really special to me, ” says Wein. “These musicians come from different parts of the country, different parts of the world and from different eras of jazz and they offer an excellent census of where the music has been, where it is and where it’s going. Together, they represent the festival’s 60-year goal: to bring the best and brightest jazz musicians to present musical experiences that fans will remember for a lifetime.”

The tour venues include Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA; the Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, PA; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA; Old Town School Of Folk Music, Chicago, Il; and the Jazz Standard, New York, NY (See full schedule below)


Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, clarinet/tenor saxophonist Anat Cohen, comes from a musical family that includes her brothers, saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai. She studied clarinet at the age of 12, and attended the Tel Aviv School for the Arts, the “Thelma Yellin” High School for the Arts and the Jaffa Music Conservatory. She played tenor saxophone in the Israeli Air Force Band, from 1993 to 1995, enrolled at the Berklee School of Music, and moved to New York City in 1999, where she worked with a number of bands including the Diva Jazz Orchestra, drummer Dudu Da Fonseca’s Samba Jazz Quintet and the Choro Ensemble. In 2005, she created her own label, Anzic Records, and released Noir and Poetica (2007), Notes from the Village (2008), and Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard (2010). Hailed by Nat Hentoff as a musician who “…tells stories from her own experiences that are so deeply felt that they are very likely to connect listeners to their own dreams, desires and longings, ” Cohen’s latest CDs, Claroscuro (2012), brilliantly blends jazz with New Orleans, African and Brazilian genres, and Tightrope (2013), her fourth release with her two brothers, together called the 3 Cohens.

The Philadelphia-born Randy Brecker – who constituted one-half of the famed Brecker Brothers Band with his saxophonist brother, Michael – has been one of the most diverse and in-demand trumpeters of the last four decades. He grew up playing in R&B, soul and rock bands in Philadelphia, and was influenced by Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis. He attended Indiana University from 1963 to 1965, where he played with Booker T. and The MG’s and IU Big Band. He moved to New York City the next year, and worked with Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Duke Pearson Big Band, recorded two albums with Blood, Sweat and Tears, and worked in Horace Silver’s quintet. Brecker was also a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and co-founded the seminal jazz fusion group, Dreams. With over 20 recordings as a leader to his credit, Brecker’s latest CDs include Randy Brecker Plays Wlodek Pawlik’s Night in Calisia (2013) and Brecker Brothers Band Reunion (2013).

Known as “The Marksman” when he burst on the scene during the “Young Lions” decade of the nineties, guitarist Mark Whitfield takes the approaches of George Benson, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell to a whole new level. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Whitfield has worked with a wide variety of musicians, from Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Carmen McRae, to Wynton Marsalis, Ray Charles and Betty Carter. He’s also worked with many pop stars including Sting, Jill Scott, and Mary J. Blige. He released his debut CD, The Marksman in 1990, and has recorded over 11 releases as a leader, including his latest, Songs of Wonder (2009), a tribute to Stevie Wonder. He toured with the band Jazz Futures, which was created in 1991 by George Wein to celebrate the next generation of jazz.

Born in Great Bend, Kansas, raised in Omaha, Nebraska and Northern California, Karrin Allyson, “… brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain — incisive, original, and emotionally convincing” according to critic Gary Giddins. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1987 with a degree in classical piano and a minor in French, Allyson, gigged at a Kansas City nightclub, and signed with Concord Records in 1992, which released her debut recording, I Didn’t Know About You. She has since recorded over 10 CDs as a leader including Footprints (2006), Imagina: Songs of Brazil (2008), Round Midnight (2011) and a holiday pleaser, Yuletide Hideaway (2013).

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, pianist Peter Martin is one of the most rooted and revelatory musicians on the scene. The son of parents who were classical musicians, Martin studied the violin and the piano at the age of three. After he graduated from high school, he received the Presidential Scholar in the Arts award from President Reagan, attended The Juilliard School in New York on scholarship, where he studied with Martin Canin, and moved to New Orleans in 1990, where he has worked with Nicholas Payton, Germaine Bazzle, Chris Thomas, Alvin Batiste, Brian Blade and Victor Goines. Martin toured and recorded with artists such as Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He also performed with the Berlin Philharmonic with Simon Rattle, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Sydney Symphony. With over five CDs as a leader, his latest record, Set of Five (2009), is a solo piano tour de force.

Born in San Francisco, bassist Larry Grenadier took up the trumpet at the age of 10 before switching to the bass at 12. Four years later, he was playing at various gigs around his hometown, and sat in with Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, and George Cables. Grenadier earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University in 1989, and worked with Stan Getz, who was Artist-in-Residence at the University. Grenadier moved to Boston and worked with Gary Burton, and later moved to New York City in 1991, where his work as a sideman included gigs with his wife, Rebecca Martin, Joshua Redman, John Scofield, Charles Lloyd, Mark Turner and Pat Metheny. He’s been a member of pianist Brad Mehldau’s trio since 2004. His CDs as a co-leader include Year of the Snake (w/Mark Turner and Jeff Ballard, 2012) and Costumes are Mandatory (w/Ethan Iverson, Lee Konitz and Jorge Rossy, 2013).

A native of Detroit, Michigan, and a graduate of Interlochen Academy, Clarence Penn attended the University of Miami and Virginia Commonwealth University, where Ellis Marsalis was a faculty member. He moved to New York City in 1991 and was hired by Betty Carter. Penn has worked with Stanley Clarke. Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Dizzy Gillespie, Luciana Souza, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman, Richard Galliano, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Charlie Haden, Makoto Ozone and Maria Schneider. His CDs as a leader include Penn’s Landing (1997), Play-Penn (2001), Saomaye (2002), A Master’s Diary (2012) and Dali in Cobble Hill (2012).

Hailed by the Boston Globe as one of “… today’s best young jazz musicians, ” bassist Ben Allison is one of the most ubiquitous bassists on the scene. The New Haven, Connecticut native has worked with an impressive and diverse array of artists, from Lee Konitz and Joe Lovano, to performance artist Joey Arias and US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Allison’s 10 CDs as a leader include Seven Arrows (1996), Medicine Wheel (1998), Third Eye (1999), Riding the Nuclear Tiger (2001), Peace Pipe (2002), Buzz (2004), Cowboy Justice (2006), Little Things Run the World (2008), Think Free (2009), and Action-Refraction (2011). Allison’s The Stars Look Very Different Today, is scheduled for release in December.

Featuring a diverse group of improvisers brought together to celebrate the anniversary of a legendary festival, these dates will no doubt present jazz with one foot in its proud past, and another pointing toward its bright future.


With the 60th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival approaching, thousands of fans will no doubt reflect on some of the historical highlights of the event that have become, through memory, recordings and film, touchstones of the American cultural landscape. Two of the most famous performances in the festival’s history are Miles Davis’ 1955 solo on “‘Round Midnight” and the Duke Ellington Orchestra’s lengthy 1956 performance of “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue, ” featuring a 27-chorus saxophone solo by Paul Gonsalves. The 1964 album Miles & Monk at Newport documented respective appearances by Davis in 1958 and Thelonious Monk in 1963; Davis’ band included John Coltrane and Monk’s featured Pee Wee Russell.

Other early performances documented on commercially released recordings include the 1957 appearances by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Carmen McRae (Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday at Newport, 1958); those by the Gigi Gryce-Donald Byrd Jazz Laboratory and the Cecil Taylor Quartet featuring Steve Lacy, released on At Newport also in 1958; and performances at the 1960 festival by Muddy Waters and Nina Simone, released as the albums At Newport 1960 and Nina Simone at Newport. Films chronicling the Newport Jazz experience include “Jazz on a Summer Day, ” a documentary of the 1958 festival which includes sets by Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles and Miles Davis; and a film released by Storyville of the 1962 event which featured Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan, the Oscar Peterson Trio, Roland Kirk, Duke Ellington and the Count Basie Orchestra featuring Jimmy Rushing.

Today, the Newport Jazz Festival continues to present a multi-generational celebration of jazz. With annual line-ups filled with a wealth of established jazz giants and emerging stars, fans joyfully witness generational batons being passed back and forth – Esperanza Spalding walking the line with Wayne Shorter … Anat Cohen defying her age with George Wein and his Newport All-Stars … Julian Lage trading licks with Jim Hall … Grace Kelly blowing up a storm with Phil Woods. Through countless memorable musical moments with Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Gregory Porter, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Trombone Shorty, Diana Krall, Darcy James Argue, Jon Faddis, Maria Schneider, Jamie Cullum, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper and many others, the Newport Jazz Festival , under the auspices of the 501 (c) (3) Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. , looks forward to many more decades as the leading purveyor of the best of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The 60th Anniversary Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management will take place from Aug. 1-3, 2014 in Newport, RI. More information on the festival can be found at newportjazzfest.org

Complete Schedule and Tour Credits on Following Pages

2014 TOUR*

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 8 pm – Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall, Emory University – 1700 North Decatur Road – Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-5050 / http://www.arts.emory.edu

Thursday, February 13, 2014, 8 pm – Berklee Performance Center – 136 Massachusetts Avenue – Boston, MA 02115
(617) 747-2261 / http://www.berklee.edu/BPC

Saturday, February 15, 2014, 7 pm and 9:30 pm – Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild – 1815 Metropolitan Street – Pittsburgh, PA 15233
(412) 322-0800 / http://www.mcgjazz.org

Sunday, February 16, 2014, 7 pm – Music Center at Strathmore – 5301 Tuckerman Lane – North Bethesda, MD 20852
(301) 581-5100 / http://www.strathmore.org

Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm – Jazz Standard – 116 East 27th Street – New York, NY 10016
(212) 576-2232 / http://www.jazzstandard.net

Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm – Jazz Standard – 116 East 27th Street – New York, NY 10016
(212) 576-2232 / http://www.jazzstandard.net

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm – Jazz Standard – 116 East 27th Street – New York, NY 10016
(212) 576-2232 / http://www.jazzstandard.net

Friday, March 7, 2014, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm – Jazz Standard – 116 East 27th Street – New York, NY 10016
(212) 576-2232 / http://www.jazzstandard.net

Saturday, March 8, 2014, 7:30 pm, 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm – Jazz Standard – 116 East 27th Street – New York, NY 10016
(212) 576-2232 / http://www.jazzstandard.net

Sunday, March 9, 2014, 8 pm – Merriam Theater – 250 South Broad Street – Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 893-1999 / http://www.kimmelcenter.org

Friday, March 14, 2014, 8 pm – Lobero Theatre – 33 East Canon Perdido Street – Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-0761 / http://www.lobero.com

Saturday, March 15, 2014, 8 pm – Walt Disney Concert Hall – 111 South Grand Avenue – Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 850.2000 / http://www.laphil.com

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7 pm – Missouri Theatre – 203 S 9th Street – Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 449-3001 / http://www.wealwaysswing.org

Friday, March 21, 2014, 7:30 pm – Juanita K. Hammons Hall- Southwest Missouri State – 525 S. John Q. Hammons Pkwy – Springfield, MO 65806
(417) 836-7678 / http://www.hammonshall.com

Saturday, March 22, 2014, 8 pm – Gem Theater – 1615 E. 18th Street – Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 474-6262 / http://www.americanjazzmuseum.org / http://www.ticketmaster.com

Sunday, March 23, 2014, 5 pm – Old Town School of Folk Music – 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue – Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 728-6000 / http://www.oldtownschool.org

Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 7:30 pm – Mendel Center-Lake Michigan College – 2755 E. Napier Avenue – Benton Harbor, MI 49022
(269) 927-1221 / http://www.lmcmainstage.org

Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7:30 pm – Cobb Great Hall-Wharton Center for Performing Arts-Michigan State University – 750 E. Shaw LN – East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-1982 / http://www.whartoncenter.com

Friday, March 28, 2014, 8 pm – Capitol Center-Overture Center for the Arts – 201 State Street – Madison, WI 53703
(608) 258-4141 / http://www.overturecenter.com

Saturday, March 29, 2014, 8 pm – Harris Theatre-Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts – 19805 W Capitol Drive – Brookfield, WI 53045
(262) 781-9520 / http://www.wilson-center.com

Sunday, March 30, 2014, 7:30 pm – Sheldon Concert Hall – 3648 Washington Boulevard – St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 533-9900 / http://www.sheldonconcerthall.org

*Schedule Subject to Change


Anat Cohen – musical director, clarinet, tenor saxophone
Karrin Allyson – vocals, piano
Randy Brecker – trumpet
Mark Whitfield – guitar
Peter Martin – piano (all dates except February 15)
Clarence Penn – drums
Larry Grenadier – bass (all dates except March 4-15)
Bruce Barth – piano (February 15 only)
Ben Allison – bass (March 4-15 only)

Produced by Danny Melnick for Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC &
Darlene Chan for FestivalWest, Inc.

Associate Producers, Tracy Reid & Ellen Shimomura
Road Manager & Sound Engineer, Sam Walton
Booking Agency, International Music Network
Publicity, Carolyn McClair Public Relations

The Newport Jazz Festival is a production of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. , a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation under license from George Wein. All rights reserved.






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