credit: Kim Fuller Photography

Salve Regina University to Host “Bridging the Gap: Jazz Dance and Music Festival”

From July 30 to August 1, 2024, Salve Regina University will host the highly anticipated “Bridging the Gap: Jazz Dance and Music Festival” on its picturesque campus. Curated by renowned jazz dance artists and scholars from across the U.S. and Canada, and featuring the acclaimed jazz musician Julius Rodriguez, this three-day event promises a dynamic blend of performances, workshops, and a public lecture.

Lindsay Guarino, jazz dance artist, educator, scholar, and chair of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Salve, emphasized the festival’s significance: “Some of the very best jazz choreographers, dancers, musicians, and scholars are coming together in a celebration of jazz. This festival highlights the shared histories and values between jazz dance and jazz music, where the dance is in conversation with the music and the music with the dance.”

Newport’s rich jazz heritage, dating back to the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, will be further enhanced by this festival. Events will take place at the historic Casino Theatre and the elegant Ochre Court on the Salve Regina campus.

A highlight of the festival, “Jazz Dance at the Casino Theatre,” will showcase guest performers from Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) of Calgary, Alberta, featuring choreography by DJD’s artistic director Kimberley Cooper. Other notable choreographers include Carlos R. A. Jones from Buffalo, NY, and Brandi Coleman from Dallas, TX.

Ochre Court will be transformed into an immersive jazz club for “The Jazz Lounge,” where New York-born and Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer Julius Rodriguez will perform with his band. The mansion’s oceanfront setting will provide a stunning backdrop as Salve Dance and guest performers from the U.S. and Canada bring the music to life.

Esteemed music journalist Marcus J. Moore lauded Rodriguez, saying, “Rodriguez, 25, has been lauded for his tremendous sense of harmony and virtuosity across piano, drums, bass and whatever else he feels like playing any given week. He can hold his own at a psychedelic free jazz show in Brooklyn, a stadium-size rap concert in Los Angeles, a stately supper-club gig on the Upper West Side.”

The festival also includes free workshops and an artist panel open to the public, though advance registration is required. Full festival details, including artist profiles and ticket purchase links, can be found at

This event represents a unique opportunity to experience the synergy of jazz music and dance, celebrating their intertwined histories and vibrant contemporary expressions. Don’t miss this extraordinary cultural celebration at Salve Regina University.




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