The Newport Jazz Festival wrapped up a successful weekend on a positive note Sunday. The weekend’s theme carried the day – great music from a variety of artists representing the full range of jazz and beyond. From the opening notes of the Rhode Island Senior All State Jazz Band to Common’s closing set, the music was front and center.
Highlights included Christian Sands leading “3 Pianos” on the Fort Stage, in a tribute to Erroll Garner that included Helen Sung and Tadataka Unno. Cécile McLorin Salvant returned to the Newport stage with a strong set after her 2018 Grammy Award win. Sons of Kemet, Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestra, and Elew also presented top-notch sets. And Latin jazz was well represented with the Dafnis Prieto Big Band.
RI native Phil Madeira, who tours with Emmylou Harris and is a session musician in Nashville, played to a room full of hometown fans at “Storyville,” featuring songs from his recent albums Providence and Crickets. Saxophonist Eric Wurzelbacher followed, presenting a strong set of avant garde sounds.
New Orleans’ totally original band Tank and the Bangas, one of the more interesting groups performing anywhere today, provided a dose of high energy with their eclectic set on the Fort Stage. The Festival ended with a special performance from the multi-faceted Common, including several songs from his upcoming album. His message of love and togetherness resonated with the crowd; reflecting on the events of the day, the hip-hop star stressed “let love be the last word.”
Check out some great photos of Day 3 at Newport Jazz from WhatsUp Photographer Rick Farrell.