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George Wein Honored at WBGO’s Champions of Jazz Gala

George Wein (pictured), the Newport Jazz Festival mastermind who helped pioneer the use of sponsors at music events, will be honored with the Champions of Jazz Achievement Award by WBGO, Jazz 88.3 of Newark, N.J.

Wein will receive his award Nov. 2 at the Champions of Jazz Gala, an event held by WBGO to raise money for free jazz concerts in New Jersey and New York, free art exhibits and a partnership with Newark public schools to bring jazz artists and music into the classroom. Al Koeppe, CEO of the Newark Alliance and former president and CEO of Public Service Gas and Electric, the largest electric and gas company in New Jersey, will serve as chairman of the event.

WBGO chose Wein because of his years of dedication to music

and live performance, beginning on July 17, 1954 when he created the Newport Jazz Festival–the world’s first all-jazz festival. Wein kept on creating with the Newport Folk Festival, the Newport Opera Festival and the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles.

At the same time, Wein was also furthering the concept of sponsor association with music events. In 1984, when JVC became the title sponsor of the Newport Jazz Festival, the event was renamed and JVC Jazz Festivals are now held in the United States and Europe.

Another recipient for this year will be named shortly. Past recipients of the Champions of Jazz Achievement Award include pianists Dave Brubeck and Marian McPartland and co-founder of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun.

Originally Published