Newport Jazz Fest 2010
Under picture-perfect skies in
For two days, music flowed from the main stage and the two side stages, nestled inside the old fort walls, as musicians collaborated on the classics and showcased new compositions. There were string quartets and horn sections and gorgeous solos across the park. Sunday was the more crowded day; it was also hotter and more humid.
On Saturday, a gentle breeze blew as fingers were flying across guitars, fiddle, and bass on the side stage where Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing string quartet played. They closed their set with a fun, lively original composition, titled, “Pickles on the Elbow.” Then, sauntering over to the Quad Stage, jazz lovers were treated to George Wein’s Newport All-Stars, who included clarinetist Anat Cohen, guitarist Howard Alden, and trumpeter Randy Sandke. Wein, who founded the Newport Jazz Festival back in 1954, played piano and occasionally sang. Each of his All-Stars took turns at solos and duets that were mind-blowing. Their whole set was magical.
Then over to the main stage, Chick Corea and his Freedom Band played some bebopping jazz. Corea is no stranger to this fest nor is his drummer, the great Roy Haynes. A highlight of their set was a version of “Monk’s Dream” that would’ve made Thelonious proud.
Saturday’s main stage headliner was British jazz-pop star Jamie Cullum who finished up his
While Sunday’s main stage featured the likes of Herbie Hancock and Chris Botti, another major highlight hit that stage late afternoon: trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. For half of his set, he and his band were joined by the legendary pianist Dave Brubeck. Marsalis introduced him as “the very essence of American greatness,” someone “who brings his integrity with him.” He added when Brubeck emerged, “if my daddy knew I was in here with you, he’d want me to make you as comfortable as possible.” It was a treat to watch their interaction. Marsalis and Brubeck each seemed utterly humbled by the other’s presence.
Marsalis, Brubeck, and band proceeded to perform Brubeck’s “Blues for
One outstanding feature of this Fest was how well the old complimented the new both in selections played and the musicians themselves. Sticking to the classics while adding fresh perspectives while paying homage to jazz veterans and highlighting up-and-coming artists really offered something for everyone of all ages.