Lekha, our APD, Takes Newport Jazz Festival 2023

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25 July, 2023

words by: Lekha Sapers (Assistant Program Director 23-24′)

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you have some degree of musical interest – perhaps even, an appreciation for jazz (?). If I’m assuming correctly, then you’re in for a treat.

As a native Rhode Islander, I have been privy to the Newport Jazz Festival and all its bebop wonders since I was a young girl. The festival itself is one of the oldest solely-Jazz music festivals in the US, established in 1954 by Elaine Lorillard. While most of the early festivals were broadcast on Voice of America radio, the festival was eventually taken over by George Wein, who brought the music to a stalwart, in-person location. 

I live right across the bay from the festival venue – Newport, Rhode Island’s Fort Adams- so it was easy to hear notes of Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, and Kamasi Washington from my house, if I was lucky. I never stepped foot onto the festival grounds, however, but this year is going to be different. I’m headed back east, for the first time in almost 6 months, to cover the three-day festival for your KCSB ears. And the lineup is stacked, featuring artists across borders, subgenres + ages. For your listening pleasure, I’ve included a playlist of all my favorite tracks from Newport Jazz featured artists. Hopefully I can whet your palette – since there will be more coverage, more music, and more Jazz Fest highlights to come. 

For further information about the festival, visit https://newportjazz.org/, and stay tuned to KCSB, both for on-air and online coverage.

Posted in Blog, Playlists, Music