60th Newport Jazz Festival Set for Merriam Theater, 3/9

60th Newport Jazz Festival Set for Merriam Theater, 3/9

The iconic festival, Newport Jazz Festival, turns 60 and takes the show on a road with Philadelphia performance and debut at the Merriam Theater on Sunday, March 9 at 8 p.m. The Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60 pays homage to jazz luminaries such as Billie Holiday, Dizzie Gillespie, and Duke Ellington, whose classic jazz standards where first recorded at the festival, reinterpreted through the lens of contemporary jazz artists. The program also provides a progressive exploration of global jazz with Brazilian, Gypsy, Latin influences.

Newport Jazz Festival features multi-gender, multi-national, and multi-generational stellar line-up of musicians selected by festival founder/producer George Wein. Led by music director, clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen, Philly native and five-time Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker joins multi-Grammy nominated vocalist Karrin Allyson, guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Peter Martin, drummer Clarence Penn and bassist Ben Allison.

"I've put together some excellent all-star ensembles in the past, but this group is really special to me," adds George Wein. "These musicians come from different parts of the country, different parts of the world and from different eras of jazz and they offer an excellent census of where the music has been, where it is and where it's going. Together, they represent the festival's 60-year goal: to bring the best and brightest jazz musicians to present musical experiences that fans will remember for a lifetime."

Newport Jazz Festival's 60 year history is testament to the festival's validity, historic pulse and continued relevancy as a communal gathering ground that has attracted legendary jazz artists -some of the first acts booked included Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk to Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Bobby McFerrin. The festival has produced historic recordings such as Miles Davis' "Round Midnight" and Paul Gonsalves' 27-chorus solo on Duke Ellington's "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue." Today young jazz talent continues to flock to the Rhode Island town, as the festival continues to be a fervent source of inspiration, and ignites a progressive, forward movement toward translating jazz, in all its variety, for the next generation.

Tickets are available from $28 to $60 at kimmelcenter.org, 215-893-1999, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office located on Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia, Pa. (open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., later on performance evenings).

This performance is generously sponsored by Philadelphia Energy Solutions.