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10 “Don’t Miss” Acts at Newport Jazz

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

 

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson Plays the Newport Jazz Festival (Photo: Mark Seliger)

he 2015 Newport Jazz Festival begins Friday and with over 50 acts scheduled, there’s something for every fan. America’s first outdoor jazz festival celebrates its 61st year with some big name artists along with a number of talented break out performers. Check out our slide show of the top “10 Don’t Miss Acts at Newport Jazz.”

 

Related Slideshow: 10 “Don’t Miss” Acts at Newport Jazz

The 2015 Newport Jazz Festival begins Friday and with over 50 acts scheduled, there’s something for every fan. America’s first outdoor jazz festival celebrates its 61st year with some big name artists along with a number of talented break out performers. Check out our slide show of the top “10 Don’t Miss Acts at Newport Jazz.”

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Cassandra Wilson

Award winning singer Cassandra Wilson returns to the Festival with a special show, dedicated to legendary vocalist Billie Holiday. Wilson, herself among the all time great jazz singers, expands the boundaries of jazz incorporating blues, pop and even country. She’ll be on the main Fort Stage Saturday at 3:50 and then sing again that night at the Gala event at The Breakers. 

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Snarky Puppy

Brooklyn, NY based Snarky Puppy returns this year after a phenomenal performance at last year’s Festival. They’re one of many crossover acts, notably more R&B than jazz. They’ll be sure to keep the party going when they play Friday on the Fort Stage at 5:00.

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Arturo Sandoval

Cuban born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is a living legend in Latin Jazz. He's won 10 Grammy awards and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. He's scored several films including the HBO film, For Love or Country, a movie based on his life. He'll be playing the Fort Stage at 3:45 on Sunday.

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Bria Skonberg

Bria Skonberg is part of the fine tradition of trumpeter/vocalists sharing that honor with artists like Louis Armstrong and Chet Baker. Along with other trumpeters at the Festival, expect her to be part of the celebration of the Miles Davis release. Skonberg and her band The Jazz Compatriots, are scheduled to play Friday at 1:35 on the Harbor Stage.(Photo: Tom Concordia)

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Kenny Garrett

With the focus on Miles Davis and the many great trumpeters playing the Festival this year, Kenny Garrett stands out as a leading saxophonist. He's perhaps the best interpreter of John Coltrane in the jazz world today. Nuff said. He plays Saturday at 4:10 on the Harbor Stage.

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Christian McBride

Christian McBride is one of the top bass players on the scene today. He's crossed genres numerous times playing with artists Carly Simon, Sting, and Don Henley. In the jazz world, he's accompanied Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Sonny Rollins and others. He's bringing his trio with Christian Sands and Ulysses Owen to the Quad Stage Friday at 4:50. 

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Dr. John

Dr. John returns with his band, The Night Trippers after an illness forced a last minute cancelation last year. He's famous for his FM radio hit, "Right Place, Wrong Time," and is one of several major crossover artists playing this year. Expect to hear a lot from his new album, honoring fellow New Orleans musician Louis Armstrong. He plays the Fort Stage at 2:15 Sunday. (Photo: Bruce Weber)

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Maria Schneider

Multiple Grammy winner Maria Schneider has been hailed as the next great woman in jazz. She’s a composer and bandleader known for merging genres from classical to pop. The Minnesota native recently released a critically acclaimed album The Thompson Fields. She’s performing on the Fort Stage at 1PM on Saturday.

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Chris Botti

Chris Botti is one of the most in demand Jazz musicians in the world today. He's played with artists as diverse as Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, and Mark Knopfler. He's had four #1 jazz albums including his latest, Impressions. He's playing the Friday evening show at the Tennis Hall of Fame. (Photo: Fabrizio Ferri)

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The Kids

Those who arrive early each day will experience some jazz artists of the future. Friday features the University of Rhode Island Newport Big Band and the Berklee College Jazz Orchestra. Saturday, check out RI’s best with the RI Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Ensemble, and Sunday, check out the Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Band.  Finally, don’t miss Joey Alexander, the 12 year old pianist who has taken the jazz world by storm on Saturday at 2:15 on the Storyville stage.

 
 

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