[JPL] Wein’s jazz festivals get infusion of cash
drjazz at drjazz.com
Wed Jul 8 21:52:38 EDT 2009
Wein’s jazz festivals get infusion of cash
By Jed Gottlieb / Music | Wednesday, July 8, 2009 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Music News
At 83, George Wein hoped the future of his Newport folk and jazz
festivals would have been set. But the founder of the annual Newport
events and the New York jazz festival has been working harder then ever
to keep the events alive.
Yesterday at a New York press conference, Wein announced that he’d
received a lifeline from CareFusion, a planned spinoff of Cardinal
Health’s clinical and medical products businesses. The company outlined
an expansive sponsorship deal for what will be called the CareFusion
Jazz Festival Series; the kickoff event will be George Wein’s CareFusion
Jazz Festival 55 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport. The company will
also help Wein revive the New York jazz festival next June, and it will
sponsor jazz fests in Chicago, Monterey, Calif., Paris and Australia.
“This is a great boost for jazz,” Wein told the Herald by phone before
the press conference. “JazzTimes magazine is going under. No one can
find sponsors for festivals. The arts are in trouble. And then
CareFusion walked in the door. It’s more than a light at the end of the
tunnel. We are out of the tunnel.”
In 2008, Wein sold rights to his festival business to Festival Network,
which lost its right to the annual Fort Adams State Park events when it
failed to pay outstanding bills. With the festivals in limbo, Wein
stepped out of retirement to keep the institutions alive.
“I didn’t make a decision to put these on until December, and we still
managed to create two amazing lineups,” the Newton native said.
George Wein’s Folk Festival 50, featuring Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Arlo
Guthrie, Judy Collins, the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Neko Case, Iron &
Wine and more, takes place July 31-Aug. 2. Wein is still seeking a
sponsor for the event. George Wein’s CareFusion Jazz Festival 55,
featuring Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Etta James, Branford Marsalis, the
Bad Plus,Joshua Redman and others, runs Aug. 7-9. The numbers 50 and 55
refer to the age of each event.
While the festivals he created are safe for now, Wein still dreams of
transitioning the events to nonprofit status.
“I think of it every day, but I need a lot of help and I don’t know
where that help is going to coming from,” he said. “I still hope to do
it in a few years, but first I have to get (the Newport festivals) on
solid ground again.
“These things can work without sponsors as nonprofits,” he added. “The
folk fest is breaking all attendance records, and I think it will be a
huge success this year. I’m very excited about it.”
Video of a young Wein:
Dr. Jazz Operations
Oak Park, MI 48237
More information about the jazzproglist