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Mother Nature tried but failed to dampen spirits of Jazz fans Saturday in Newport. The revered Newport Jazz Festival was in full gear despite a few early rain showers. The music went on with no interruptions and featured fine performances all around.
America’s first outdoor popular music festival was back for Day 2 with original producer George Wein in the house. Wein, 92, who still oversees the Festival, introduced Artistic Director Christian McBride, who played a robust set with his Big Band. Another highlight was Rhiannon Giddens, who appeared at both the Newport Folk and the Newport Jazz Festival this year, only the third artist ever to complete the feat.
There was a swinging set from 88-year-old saxophonist Benny Golson, funky hip-hop from DJ Logic’s Project Logic, and a special performance in honor of the late Geri Allen, “Flying Toward the Sound: For Geri, With Love” featuring Esperanza Spaulding. The youngest Festival participants were high school students from the RI Music Education Association’s All State Jazz Ensemble. Festival veterans Snarky Puppy closed things out with a high energy set.
Scroll down for more of Day 2 from the 2017 Newport Jazz Festival, Presented by Natixis Global Asset Management. Photos by Ken Abrams.