New York City-based jazz vocalist José James celebrates the 80th birthday of R&B legend Bill Withers – “Lean on Me: Jose James Celebrates Bill Withers” – at this year’s Newport Jazz Festival.

James, an outstanding vocalist who recorded his first album in 2008, joined WUN’s Frank Prosnitz on The Open Forum on AM 1540 WADK on Wednesday.

On the program, they talk about James’ ascension as one of today’s leading male jazz vocalists, about his Bill Withers project, and his album commemorating Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday.

James will perform twice during the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival, at the Opening Night Concert at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame on Friday, August 3rd and at Fort Adams on Saturday, August 4th. For tickets and more information, visit

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.