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About half way through the 65th Annual Newport Jazz Festival, 93-year-old George Wein was surprised and honored by Jay Sweet, Executive Producer of Newport Festivals Foundation; Christian McBride, Artistic Director of Newport Jazz Festival; and Brittany Ryan, Associate Producer; with a ceremony on the quad stage at Fort Adams.
A letter from the Boston Red Sox was presented that congratulated Wein on the 65th Newport Jazz Festival and thanked him for being a loyal fan of the team (during the good times, and the bad times), as well thanked him for his contributions to Jazz music. Wein was also presented with a Red Sox Jersey with the number 65 (for 65th Anniversary of the Jazz Festival) and 25 (for the year Wein was born).
Brittany Ryan also presented George with a piece of the Green Monster that had the number 65 on it, it was loaned to the Festival for the day.
The letter stated;
On behalf of the Boston Red Sox, congratulation on 65 groundbreaking years at the Newport Jazz Festival. You took what started as a bold idea back in 1954, and made the festival into what it is today, the pinnacle venue for Jazz music.
I understand even when you were busy booking Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald, your commitment to the Red Sox never wavered. From the thrills of the Foxx, Williams, and Yaz, to the heartbreaks at the hands of Bucky Dent and Mookie Wilson, to the triumphs of Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz, you have been a part of the Red Sox family as much as our beloved Johnny Pesy and Luis Tiant.
You have been a fan at the worst of times and the best of times, while waiting through an 86 year drought, only to be rewarded with no less than four World Series Championship titles in the past 15 years!
Thank you, George, for your constant support of the Red Sox over the decades. As a small token of our gratitude, we have two small gifts for you. The first is a Red Sox jersey with “Newport Jazz” and the number 65 on the back to recognize the tremendous accomplishment that your “baby” has achieved. The second is an invitation. We would like to invite you and your family to a game of your choosing at Fenway Park. We will take care of the tickets, and make sure that you are on the field before the game to fully take in the place where you have supported the Red Sox since 1933!
Congratulations again, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Wein, who grew up in the Boston area, is a big fan of the Boston Red Sox. Sweet shared with the audience that during Jon Batiste’s show last night at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame, that Wein grabbed Sweet to ask him for the venue’s WiFi so that way he could follow the Red Sox vs Yankees game.