Newport Jazz Festival Assembly, a new performance series presented by Newport Festivals Foundation, will bring music to elementary schools throughout Rhode Island beginning this week, it was announced today by Governor Gina Raimondo and George Wein, Chairman of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.

The series will connect professional musicians to schools with minimal or no music programs to present jazz concerts for students who may not have had the experience of attending a live concert. Each Assembly, which will introduce students to the music presented at the Newport Jazz Festival, will be 35-40 minutes long and will consist of oral presentations, question/answer sessions and several musical segments that will span the timeline of jazz history, including Dixieland, Big Band, Bebop, Fusion, Cool and Modal Jazz.

“Jazz is a uniquely American art form, one that people all over the world associate with Newport, Rhode Island.” said Governor Raimondo.  “A recent report by the Brookings Institution shows a direct connection between the arts and education in science, technology, math and engineering, and I’m thrilled that young people throughout our state will have a chance to learn more about jazz as part of an education that ensures their pathway to high paying 21st century jobs.  And, of course, they’ll get to learn a bit about the role Rhode Island has played in the history of jazz.”

“Music is a language that brings people together and takes individuals to a place that words sometimes can’t reach,” said Wein, producer of the Newport Jazz Festival since its inception in 1954. “At 90 years old, I can still remember the music assemblies at my grammar school. They changed my life and helped to build the foundation for my career in music. We believe it is important to introduce young people to music in their early years, and we hope the concerts will make life-long impressions on their future listening experiences.”

Band members are Ben Marcoux, bandleader/saxophones/ clarinet; Joshua Bruneau, trumpet/flugelhorn; Jimmy O’Connell, trombone; Tony Davis, guitar; Noah Barker, piano/electric keyboard; Alex Tremblay, upright bass/tuba; and Mike Camacho, drums. Deborah Ross, Newport Festivals Foundation Director of Education, is the project director.

The 2016 Winter/Spring Newport Jazz Assembly Schedule:

·         Wednesday, February 10 – Pell Elementary School, Newport

·         Thursday, February 11 – Forest Avenue School, Middletown

·         Thursday, February 25 – Saylesville Elementary School, Lincoln

·         Friday, March 4 – West Kingston Elementary School, West Kingston

·         Monday, March 7 – Agnes Little Elementary School, Pawtucket

·         Tuesday, March 22, Anthony Carnevale Elementary School, Providence

·         Wednesday, April 6 – Lonsdale Elementary School, Lincoln

·         Thursday, April 14 – The Learning Community, Central Falls, MA

·         Thursday, April 21, Pocasset School, Tiverton

·         Friday, April 29 – Hopkins Hill School, Coventry