George Wein and Christian McBride today announced the First Wave of artists for the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival, which takes place at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino August 3 – 5.
The partial lineup features some of the best in traditional and modern jazz, including Charles Lloyd’s 80th Birthday Celebration featuring three different groups; Andra Day; Living Colour; Artemis featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant, Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda and Allison Miller; Rudresh Mahanthappa Indo-Pak Coalition; Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl; Michel Camilo; James Carter Organ Trio; Jazzmeia Horn; and Matthew Shipp Trio.
“Last week we dished up the first taste of artists playing the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival when we announced Charles Lloyd’s 80th Birthday Celebration through The Wein Machine and social media,” said George Wein, Chairman of Newport Festivals Foundation and Festival creator. “It’s a pleasure to work with Christian McBride in his second year as the Festival’s Artistic Director and with Executive Producer Jay Sweet to continue the legacy of Newport Jazz. Over the coming weeks, we will introduce concerts by a diverse group of new faces along with some familiar faces, which will give music fans a general idea of the direction Jazz is going.
“We’re excited to present Charles as our artist-in-residence, our first in many years. He will perform each day with a different band – Sangam, his New Quartet and a group of friends, including the singer Lucinda Williams. I’m looking forward to celebrating with my old friend and hearing what he will bring to the party.”
Christian McBride, also a world-renowned bassist and bandleader, added, “Charles Lloyd is one of the towering legends of Jazz. I think long-time Jazz fans will be thrilled and some of the new folk will become instant fans and wonder what took them so long to get on the Charles Lloyd train.”
Wein and McBride are also eager to hear the singer Andra Day, who had to cancel her Newport debut last year due to illness. “My buddy, Andra, is one of my favorite people in the world,” said McBride. I’m glad she made a full recovery and I’m looking forward to her wowing the audience in August.”
Wein added, “We are fortunate to have Andra this year; she has grown in stature and popularity in the industry and we expect a wonderful concert.”
Last year, legendary guitarist Vernon Reid performed solo on the Storyville stage and as a guest with DJ Logic. This summer, he returns with his band Living Colour, “one of the most dominant and major voices of an era,” said McBride. “I am so thrilled they are back together and bringing their music to the Newport Jazz Festival.”
“One of the hits of the Festival,” says Wein, will be the all female group Artemis.
“I first heard Artemis performing in Europe last year,” said Christian. “I immediately got on the phone with George and said we’ve got to have them in Newport. They have fire power, sensitivity, musicality and charm, all of which will light up the festival stage.”
Rudresh Mahanthappa returns to Newport with his group Indo-Pak Coalition. “He is one of the musicians whom we have had the opportunity to build and watch grow, and he is now one of the major figures in jazz,” said Wein.
McBride and Mahanthappa live down the street from each other, but the Festival Artistic Director was already a fan long before that. “Rudresh’s ‘Bird Calls’ is one of my favorite recordings. We played together for the first time two years ago, and he always brings something special to the table. It’s a no-brainer to have him back at Newport to continue his exciting history with the Festival.”
Mary Halvorson returns to Newport, this year with her group Code Girl. “She has “always been the avant-garde of new and creative ideas,” said Wein, and McBride, who has not yet seen her in a live performance, is looking forward to “hearing in person the wonderful waves she has been making in the Jazz world over the years.”
A Newport staple, Michel Camilo, “always brings so much happiness to everyone who hears him,” says McBride. It’s no surprise that the piano player in George Wein is looking forward to hearing music from Camilo’s recent solo album, which was recorded in London.
“There is no artist more exciting than James Carter when he takes over the stage,” declares George. Christian agrees and adds, “James is a singular talent and not many saxophonists on the planet can do what he does. He’s a freak of nature.”
Wein says there is “a wealth of new young Jazz vocalists” on the scene today and Jazzmeia Horn is one of them. “I was introduced to her at a private listening party that her manager hosted on the Upper Westside in New York City and began thinking about her for a spot on the Festival.”
“McBride adds, “This young lady has been tearing it up for the past couple of years. The first time I heard her, she knocked me out. She has so much creative energy and so much creative spirit. I’m excited to see where she’s going, because she has all of the tools to carve a place for herself in the history of this music.”
While Mary Halvorson is a member of the new avant-garde, Matthew Shipp represents the “old avant-garde,” said Wein, and McBride calls Shipp “an interesting thinker” whose music “always moves” him.
Showcasing more than 50 individual Jazz ensembles, the Newport Jazz Festival will offer music on four stages, including the Fort, Quad and Harbor stages and Storyville, the intimate venue located in the former Museum of Yachting, now Newport Festivals Museum.
The First Wave of artists for the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival are:
Friday, August 3, 2018 – Fort Adams State Park
- Living Colour
- Sangam with Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland
- Rudresh Mahanthappa Indo-Pak Coalition
- Michel Camilo
- Matthew Shipp Trio
Saturday, August 4, 2018 – Fort Adams State Park
- Andra Day
- Charles Lloyd New Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland
Sunday, August 5, 2018 – Fort Adams State Park
- Artemis featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant, Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda & Allison Miller
- Charles Lloyd & Friends featuring Lucinda Williams with Jason Moran, Marvin Sewell, Stuart Mathis, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland
- Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl
- Jazzmeia Horn
Tickets go on sale today at 10:00 am (EST) at www.newportjazz.org.