Newport Jazz Festival Assembly, a new performance series presented by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.™, Inc. will bring music to elementary schools throughout Rhode Island beginning this week, it was announced today by Governor Gina Raimondo and George Wein, Chairman of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.
The series, funded by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. with support from the Estate of H. Stewart Ross, will connect professional musicians to schools with minimal or no music programs to present jazz concerts for students who may not have had the experience of attending a live concert. Each Assembly, which will introduce students to the music presented at the Newport Jazz Festival®, will be 35-40 minutes long and will consist of oral presentations, question/answer sessions and several musical segments that will span the timeline of jazz history, including Dixieland, Big Band, Bebop, Fusion, Cool and Modal Jazz.
“Jazz is a uniquely American art form, one that people all over the world associate with Newport, Rhode Island.” said Governor Raimondo. “A recent report by the Brookings Institution shows a direct connection between the arts and education in science, technology, math and engineering, and I’m thrilled that young people throughout our state will have a chance to learn more about jazz as part of an education that ensures their pathway to high paying 21st century jobs. And, of course, they’ll get to learn a bit about the role Rhode Island has played in the history of jazz.”
“Music is a language that brings people together and takes individuals to a place that words sometimes can’t reach,” said Wein, producer of the Newport Jazz Festival since its inception in 1954. “At 90 years old, I can still remember the music assemblies at my grammar school. They changed my life and helped to build the foundation for my career in music. We believe it is important to introduce young people to music in their early years, and we hope the concerts will make life-long impressions on their future listening experiences.”
Band members are Ben Marcoux, bandleader/saxophones/clarinet; Joshua Bruneau, trumpet/flugelhorn; Jimmy O’Connell, trombone; Tony Davis, guitar; Noah Barker, piano/electric keyboard; Alex Tremblay, upright bass/tuba; and Mike Camacho, drums. Deborah Ross, Newport Festivals Foundation Director of Education, is the project director.
The 2016 Winter/Spring Newport Jazz Assembly Schedule:
- Wednesday, February 10 – Pell Elementary School, Newport
- Thursday, February 11– Forest Avenue School, Middletown
- Thursday, February 25– Saylesville Elementary School, Lincoln
- Friday, March 4– West Kingston Elementary School, West Kingston
- Monday, March 7– Agnes Little Elementary School, Pawtucket
- Tuesday, March 22, Anthony Carnevale Elementary School, Providence
- Wednesday, April 6– Lonsdale Elementary School, Lincoln
- Thursday, April 14– The Learning Community, Central Falls, MA
- Thursday, April 21, Pocasset School, Tiverton
- Friday, April 29– Hopkins Hill School, Coventry
Marcoux was born and raised in Providence. While attending fifth grade at James L. McGuire elementary school, he witnessed his first live concert – a Dixieland jazz band performed in his school gymnasium. Like George Wein, the assembly had a major impact on his life. “As soon as the band started playing, I knew live music was something special. By the end of the first song, I knew I wanted to be a professional musician,” said Marcoux.
The 2016 Newport Jazz Festival takes place July 29-31 at historic Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. Artists include Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian McBride and Brian Blade, Gregory Porter, Angélique Kidjo; Kamasi Washington, John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet; Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society; Charles Lloyd New Quartet; Robert Glasper Experiment; Tierney Sutton; Django Festival All Stars; Kenny Barron Trio; Yosvany Terry Quintet; Toshiko Akiyoshi; Steve Coleman and Five Elements; Galactic, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah; José James; Kneebody, The Hot Sardines, Anat Cohen and many others. For more information and tickets, visit www.newportjazzfest.org.
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 Newport Jazz Festival presents performers who respect and honor jazz music traditions, and at the same time reflect the changes in today’s musical trends. In addition, the Foundation presents programs to educate young people about jazz and folk music as presented at the annual festivals. For more information, please visit www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org.