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Annual George Wein Jazz Ambassador Scholarship Awarded to Students

Named after Newport Jazz Festival founder

George Wein at CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival

Natixis Global Asset Management has announced that William Evans of Rehoboth, Mass., and Samuel Atallah of Needham, Mass., are this year’s winners of the George Wein Jazz Ambassador Scholarship.

The $5,000 scholarships, named after the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, were created by Natixis six years ago to aid students in the pursuit of both their musical and academic goals. The purpose of the scholarship is to help foster the next generation of jazz musicians and fans.

“Every year we look forward to awarding these scholarships to a new generation of talented young musicians who embody the spirit and energy of jazz and of George Wein, and we hope it will help them become part of the rich culture of jazz for years to come,” said Natixis CEO for the Americas and Asia John Hailer, in a press release. “We are proud to celebrate another year sponsoring the Newport Jazz Festival and the vibrant history, creativity and unique ability of jazz to bring different cultures together.”

Evans is a graduate of the Wheeler School in Rhode Island and a pianist for the Rhode Island Senior All-State Jazz Ensemble. He said in the press release that, to him, jazz is “something that brings people together who otherwise would never meet and inspires new lines of thinking.” He will attend Brown University in the fall.

A graduate of Needham High School, Atallah is a trumpet player for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Band. He has played at the Newport Jazz Festival in the past, and described the experience in a press release as “the absolute high point of my summers and of my high school music career.” He will attend the University of Vermont in the fall.

In addition to the scholarships, Natixis hosted students from Boston Public Schools at the Newport Jazz Festival, and arranged for students to participate in a workshop hosted by “Dr. Wes” Watkins, Ph.D., founder of the Jazz & Democracy Project that integrates the arts and humanities.

“Natixis is inspired to support opportunities that encourage today’s youth to explore the lessons of jazz – innovation, diversity and a commitment to collaborate as an ensemble – and we are thrilled to partner with the Newport Jazz Festival to make jazz accessible to all audiences for generations to come,” said Hailer, in the press release.

The Newport Jazz Festival was held from July 29-31. More information can be found at

Originally Published