07/07/08

Chevy Chase to Host JVC-Newport

Furthering his love for jazz, Chevy Chase will host the JVC Jazz Festival-Newport for the second year in a row on Aug. 9 and 10 in Newport, R.I.

The actor/comedian and amateur jazz pianist/drummer will introduce the artists playing on the main stage, which include Aretha Franklin, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock.

If the festival is anything like last year’s, Chase, 63, may even get a chance to show off his jazz chops, most likely on piano. When Dave Brubeck’s set was delayed at the 2007 festival, Chase stepped in for a solo performance of Bill Evans’ “Waltz for Debby.”

Newport wasn’t the first time Chase has showcased his musical abilities. In college he played drums in a band featuring Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, better known as the core of Steely Dan. Chase even sat in once for Miles Davis drummer Tony Williams at a New York jazz club during Chase’s Saturday Night Live days.

Chase, an avid fan of the genre, said in a press conference after JVC last year that Evans and Thelonious Monk inspired him to pick up piano, an instrument he practices for as many as five hours a day, when he has the time.

He also said he loves to use the jazz principle of improvising in his own comedy. According to Chase, his performance in 1985’s Fletch was an exercise in winging a film.

Chase’s daughter, Caley, who was on hand at last year’s festival, is also a jazz pianist.


Ticket prices for JVC Jazz Festival-Newport range from $15 a day for children to $100 a day for gold circle tickets.

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