Following a special performance at the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County and a concert at Clayville Elementary School last week, Newport Jazz Festival Assembly – a performance series presented by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.  that brings music to elementary schools throughout Rhode Island – continues its Winter/Spring Tour February 9 – March 29.

The series, funded by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. with support from the Estate of H. Stewart Ross, connects 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.

Band members are Ben Marcoux, bandleader, saxophones and 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 2017 Newport Jazz Assembly Winter/Spring Tour takes place at the following schools:

Thursday, February 9 

MJ Francis School

East Providence, RI  02916

Friday, February 10

Frank D. Spaziano Elementary School

Providence, RI  02909

AM Waddington School

Riverside, RI

Wednesday, March 15

Reservoir Ave Elementary School

Providence, RI

Flora Curtis Elementary School

Pawtucket, RI  02861

Tuesday, March 21

Arlington Elementary School

Cranston, RI

Wednesday, March 22

Gladstone Elementary School

Cranston, RI  02920

Thursday, March 23

Blackstone Valley

Cumberland, RI

Tuesday, March 28 

Davisville Middle School

North Kingstown, RI


Wednesday, March 29

Paul Cuffee Middle School

Providence, RI

The 2017 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management takes place August 4-6 at historic Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. Artists include Trombone Shorty, Rhiannon Giddens, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Snarky Puppy, Andra Day, Hudson: Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, John Medeski & Larry Grenadier, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Vijay Iyer Sextet, Antonio Sanchez & Migration, Dominick Farinacci, Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith, One For All, Sean Jones Quintet and many more. The second wave of Newport Jazz Festival artists will be announced soon. For tickets and more information, visit

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 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

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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).