More Than 24,000 Jazz Lovers Turned Out For The 2016 Newport Jazz Festival

More than 24,600 Jazz lovers – including a sold out audience on Saturday – turned out at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino July 29 – 31 for the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival® presented by Natixis Global Asset Management. Among the audience were more than 3,400 students who took advantage of specially-discounted $20 tickets, which the Festival has sold over the past three years to help build younger audiences.

Festival highlights include performances by the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Music Educators Association big bands, at which a $5,000 scholarship, provided by Natixis Global Asset Management, was presented by Natixis CEO John Hailer to a student from each band on the stage at Fort Adams. In addition, jazz legend Jimmy Heath thrilled the Harbor Stage crowd when he joined the RI big band for a portion of the set.

Other highlights include dynamic new works by bassist Ben Williams, pianist Peter Apfelbaum, drummer Tyshawn Sorey and pianist Sullivan Fortner, made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, which supported the Newport Jazz Festival with a 2016 Jazz Leadership grant and the George Wein/Doris Duke Artistic Commissioning Fund.

In addition, Festival attendees took part in the 75th birthday celebration for Chick Corea, who performed with his band Trilogy featuring Festival Artistic Director/bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade on Friday night and Saturday afternoon … the Festival debut of the super popular saxophonist Kamasi Washington in two different sets on Friday and Sunday … pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi’s salute to Newport as she celebrated the 60th anniversary of her first Festival appearance at Storyville on Sunday … the Saturday afternoon Festival debut of pianist/vocalist Norah Jones, who wowed the audience at the Newport Folk Festival® the prior week … the Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander, who gave audiences a taste of Harlem and Kingston in his Sunday afternoon Festival debut … the Saturday afternoon return of the wunderkind pianist Joey Alexander … and vocalist Angélique Kidjo, who had children and adults alike dancing through the crowd to close out the Festival on Sunday, as well as many more memorable moments.

The 2017 Newport Jazz Festival® presented by Natixis Global Asset Management is set for August 4 – 6.

For more information, photos and other news, visit

In addition to the Festival’s presenting sponsor, Natixis Global Asset Management, support comes from Alex and Ani, North Coast Brewing Co.ToyotaD’AngelicoDoris Duke Charitable FoundationRhode Island Foundation, Ticketmaster and travel partner, WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. The Preferred Hotels of the Festival are Hotel VikingNewport MarriottHyatt Regency Newport and The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina. Media supporters are DownBeat, JazzTimes, WRIU and WICN.


Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. 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 and Folk Festivals present performers who respect and honor jazz and folk 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

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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).