Artists and Fans Gear up for August Festivals
Posted 7/2/2012

The summer music festival season is in full swing, with numerous fests taking place in August. Fans and artists are gearing up for fun under the sun. Artists in the lineups run the gamut from A (Ambrose Akinmusire) to Z (Miguel Zenón).

The Newport Jazz Festival, which was established in 1954, takes place Aug. 3–5 at historic Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Casino in Newport, R.I. Performers include Akinmusire, Zenón, James Carter, the 3 Cohens, Dave Douglas, Kurt Elling, Dr. John, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Joe Lovano, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Samdhi, Christian McBride, Pat Metheny Unity Band, Jason Moran, Dafnis Prieto, Dianne Reeves and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

As part of his 70th birthday celebration at Newport, drummer Jack DeJohnette will lead an all-star ensemble that will include McBride on bass, Moran on piano and Lionel Loueke on guitar. DeJohnette also will perform with his namesake group, with Mahanthappa on alto sax, Dave Fiuczynski on guitar, George Colligan on piano and Jerome Harris on bass.

Among the large ensembles performing at Newport will be Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, the Maria Schneider Orchestra and Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Centennial Project. Guitarist Bill Frisell will be busy at Newport, playing songs from the John Lennon songbook with his quintet, sitting in with The Bad Plus, and delivering a duo performance with violinist Jenny Scheinman. A “3 Clarinets” bill on Aug. 4 will include clarinetists Ken Peplowski, Evan Christopher and Anat Cohen. For more information, visit the Newport fest’s website.

Also taking place Aug. 3–5 is the 36th Annual Telluride Jazz Festival in Telluride, Colo. Performers include the Funky Meters, Roberta Gambarini, Roy Hargrove, Nosotros, Soulive, the Soul Rebels and Victor Wooten.

Among the young musicians performing at the fest on Aug. 4 are the UNC Jazz Lab Band I and the Telluride Student All-Stars. For more details, visit the Telluride fest’s website.

The 17th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival takes place Aug. 10–12 on the Goshen Fairgrounds in Goshen, Conn. The lineup includes Akinmusire, Zenón, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Four Freshmen, Benny Green, Hubert Laws, Grégoire Maret, Donny McCaslin and Helen Sung.

This year’s Artist in Residence at Litchfield is baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan. The six-time Grammy winner will participate in clinics and panel discussions, in addition to performing in a variety of settings. Smulyan will lead a “Salute to George Coleman” set that includes tenor saxophonists Eric Alexander, Jeff Lederer and Don Braden on Aug. 11. Details and a full lineup are posted at the Litchfield fest’s website.

Bobby Reed

Jack DeJohnette


UCA Press


Lisa Hilton

Steve Webster—EC Barlow

Jody Jazz


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