eric-jackson at comcast.net
Wed Aug 16 09:56:49 EDT 2006
I just published this on the WGBH blog but since Tom And Steve posted their
comments about Newport here, I figured I'd share my thoughts.
The JVC Jazz Festival at Newport, better known as the Newport Jazz Festival
was this past weekend. WGBH was there, in lots of ways. About 4 years ago
WGBH started going down on Sundays to the festival with a busload of Members
and supporters. This year we went down both Saturday and Sunday. Kevin Ball
and I were on the bus Saturday and on Sunday, I was joined by Steve Schwartz.
‘GBH staffers were busy onstage and backstage. Al Davis, Kevin Ball, Ron Gill,
Steve Schwartz and I did a lot of the onstage introductions. Backstage, we
scurried about with mic in hand, doing a number of interviews. Jason Moran,
George Benson, McCoy Tyner, James Carter, and Andy Bey are just some of the
performers WGBH folks were able to interview.
Being busy does have a cost sometimes because you just can’t be in two places
at one time. On Saturday I had just walked off the stage from introducing
McCoy Tyner when I heard a voice over someone’s walkie-talkie asking, “Have
you seen Eric Jackson?” They were looking for me to rush to another stage to
introduce Cyrus Chestnut. A similar situation happened the next day. I
introduced Savion Glover on one stage and as soon as I came off the stage I
was taken by golf cart to another stage to introduce James Carter. I guess
the multi-stage approach to jazz festivals always causes a kind of dilemma
for festival goers as they try to figure out who they want to see.
My favorites on Saturday were McCoy Tyner with that all-star band he had with
him and Cyrus Chestnut but Al Jarreau and George Benson, who performed
several tunes together, were the obvious crowd pleasers. Benson just played
and sang hit after hit. They both mentioned they have a new album coming out
shortly on Concord where they perform together.
I really enjoyed the James Carter Organ Trio and their performance on the
Pavilion Stage. A couple performances from the Waterside Stage that I saw
were exciting. The wonderful vocalist and pianist Andy Bey gave a beautiful
performance. Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch were billed as a duo but they
were joined by saxophonist Donald Harrison who had played with McCoy’s band
the day before. He stayed busy on Sunday, sitting in with Chris Botti, and
his nephew, trumpeter Christian Scott. I didn’t catch Christian’s set but I
did hear some of our WGBH travelers saying how much they enjoyed it. And what
can you say about Dave Brubeck? He’s in his mid 80s and still making fresh
In addition to the good music, Newport is always a good time. Most of the
folks are very friendly. You can hear conversations starting between festival
goers as people introduce themselves. With the beautiful weather we had this
past weekend and the wonderful location by the water, it was a great weekend!
8 pm - mid Mon - Thurs
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