Pianist Lois Vaughan has been performing professionally in Southeastern New England for almost 30 years. Her repertoire is broad – encompassing jazz, Latin & standards, classical music, and music for dancing (includes swing, classic rock, disco, reggae & Motown). She plays solo piano, and works with ensembles from duos to six and eight-piece bands.

Louis Vaughan

Performances include concerts, school programs, background music for restaurants and hotels. She provides music for special events–weddings, private parties, corporate receptions and state dinners. She is currently playing monthly trio gigs at the Fifth Element in Newport.

In 2009, Lois was a major player in the founding of Newport BridgeFest, after the Newport Festivals Foundation took over the event from the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County earlier this year Lois was appointed the “local liason” for the event.

Lois will perform several times during the 2016 Newport Bridgefest, we caught up with her about her musical career, the Newport music scene and much more before her shows next week….

RB: What got you into music?

LV: “Lots of music in my family. I started taking piano lessons when I was five.”
RB: What was your first cd, record or album?

LV: “Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture and The Temptations, followed by Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije, and The Doors. At the same time, my older brother was actively listening to Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, and Stan Getz so that rubbed off on me as well.”
RB: What was the first concert that you went to?

LV: “A Buffalo Philharmonic concert – my dad had season tickets – I had to rotate with my siblings, we couldn’t all go to every concert.”

RB: What performance or concert has most inspired you in your life?

LV: “Bob Dylan, Leonard Bernstein, Joni Mitchell, Craig Smith (Boston classical pianist), Ahmad Jamal, Shirley Horn, Abraham Laboriel (LA bass player – heard him at the Newport Jazz Festival), and many more….”
RB: How long have you been performing?

LV: “Professionally for 30 years.”
RB: What musician or band (yes you can pick any) would you love to see perform in Newport?

LV: “Brad Mehldau, Ahmad Jamal”
RB: What is your favorite thing about being a musician in Newport?

LV: “Living here and working with great players.”

RB: Describe the arts, live music and cultural scene in Newport?

LV: “Always changing, very competitive, lots of creative influences, talented musicians and artists, both new blood and those who have been around for a long time.”

RB: Why did you pick the instrument (s) that you play?

LV: “The piano is very versatile plus it was my first instrument.”
RB: Who is the greatest musical influence in your life?

LV: “My family, my choir and band directors, and my teachers – Harold Bradley, Harvey Diamond”
RB: Who is your favorite local musician to watch/listen to in Newport?

LV: “Loved listening to Matt Quinn when he was alive, still love to hear Dave Manuel.”

RB: Who has had the greatest musical impact in history of Newport?

LV: “Probably George Wein and the late Mark Malkovich – even though they are not/were not professional musicians themselves, their festivals have put Newport on the map.”

During Newport BridgeFest, Lois can be found at;

6:30 – 10:00pm | $95 (plus tax), cash bar – call for reservations
Presented by Blackstone Caterers and International Tennis Hall of Fame
at Canfield House
Upscale dinner, dancing and wine pairings in an elegant setting – featuring Lois Vaughan (keys), Leland Brown (vocals), Art Manchester (horns), Bryan Rizzuto (bass), Mark Teixeira (drums)
(401) 848-2030

Thursday, July 28th – JAZZ & WINE CLAMBAKE
6:30 pm, dinner at 7:15 pm } $90 per person + tax (w/lobster), $80 + tax (w/o lobster), cash bar (discounts available to Case Club members)
at Newport Vineyards
A New England clambake prepared by McGrath Clambakes with Newport Vineyards wine and lively jazz – Lois Vaughan Jazz Trio
(401) 848-5161

What’sUpNewp’s 2016 Newport BridgeFest Coverage is brought to you by Midtown Oyster Bar

About Newport BridgeFest

Newport Festivals Foundation will continue the tradition of Newport Bridgefest in 2016, over the four days the festival will aim to celebrate folk, jazz, and the musical heritage of Newport.

Newport BridgeFest was founded in 2009 by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County to “bridge” the days between the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Earlier this year, the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County transferred the rights to the event to the Newport Festival Foundation.

Bridgefest 2016 will take place in and around Newport from July 25th to July 28th, and will include free and paid concerts, music related films, educational programs and other music related activities.  In addition, Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc, will produce a free family concert at Fort Adams on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. For more information, visit www.newportbridgefest.com.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).