Due to the pandemic, this year’s model of the Newport Jazz Festival will be a bit smaller than usual. The iconic Festival will feature two main stages and a reduced capacity crowd of around 5000. Still, organizers have managed to pull together a stellar lineup of well know favorites and emerging artists.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a few suggestions for you below for “Newport Jazz Presents.” The festival is sold out, so we hope you have tickets!

Friday: Kamasi Washington – The sax genius broke out on the scene in 2016 with his three-record set, The Epic. His music takes you on a voyage like no other. Don’t miss his set Friday at 5:05 on the Quad Stage.

Friday: Khruangbin is a difficult to categorize band from Houston, TX who also played the Newport Folk Festival in 2019. Sometimes labeled “Thai Funk,” you have to experience them to understand. Khruangbin plays the Lawn Stage at 6:10.

Saturday: Ledisi – You had me at “Nina Simone.” Ledisi pays tribute to the High Priestess of Soul on the Quad Stage at 5:05. Cya there!

Saturday: Kenny Garrett – If you like straight-ahead post-bob Coltrane-esque sounds like I do, Garrett is the set to hear Saturday. Check out the sax veteran at 2PM on the Quad Stage.

Sunday: Andra Day – The Festival is fortunate to bring Andra Day back this year. Her performance in the 2021 film The United States vs. Billie Holiday won her a Golden Globe award for “Best Actress in a Motion Picture.” We assume you’ll hear some Billie Holiday as well as some of her own music. Her set begins on Lawn Stage at 6:10. Rise Up!

Sunday: Charles Lloyd – The legendary tenor sax player, who has been as busy in his 80’s as he likely was in his 20’s, returns to the Festival this year, after serving as “Artist in Residence” in 2019. He plays the Quad Stage at 3:30 Sunday.

Bonus: You didn’t think we’d forget the legendary Mavis Staples, who has now played both Newport Folk and Newport Jazz going back to 1964. Mavis plays Saturday at 4:30PM on the Lawn Stage. Expect a few special guests. And don’t forget to check out international rising star Yola, who just played the Folk Festival.

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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.