Newport Festivals Sign 25-Year Agreement

Both jazz and folk events opt to stay put at their present Rhode Island site, with plans to open a museum

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A few of the Newport Jazz Festival’s historic figures are remembered on the 2017 festival grounds at Fort Adams State Park.

If you’re a fan of the annual Newport Jazz Festival—the 2018 edition of which will be held this coming weekend—you’ll probably be pleased to learn that it isn’t going away anytime soon. Both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival will be staying in their present location for the next 25 years, thanks to a newly signed agreement with the state of Rhode Island. In addition, “a museum with displays about both festivals will be opened,” an article in Pollstar reports.

The agreement, signed by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Newport Festival Foundations Chairman George Wein, stipulates that the two world-renowned events will remain at Fort Adams State Park on Narragansett Bay. The festivals each routinely attract upwards of 100,000 visitors annually.

According to an article in Boston.com, “The Department of Environmental Management was part of the agreement, which will include a museum with displays dedicated to the iconic music festivals. The festival group has a 40-year lease with the department for a building for that venture.”

This year’s Newport Jazz Festival will feature a three-day celebration of Charles Lloyd’s 80th birthday, with the saxophonist/flutist/composer fronting a different band each day. A few of the many other notable performers scheduled include Pat Metheny, Jon Batiste, Gregory Porter, Artemis (featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant, Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda, and Allison Miller), and R+R=NOW (featuring Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin, and Justin Tyson). For more information, go to newportjazz.org.

As usual, JazzTimes will have a team of writers and photographers at Newport; watch this site in the coming days for more about the festival.