Newport Jazz Festival Highlights Top Young Artists

Hiromi, Spalding, Glasper and others to be featured

Jonathan Batiste
Edmar Castaneda, Caramoor Jazz Festival 8-11

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The annual Newport Jazz Festival is making a special effort this year to showcase young artists, including Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, Jon Batiste, Hiromi, Mary Halvorson and Edmar Castañeda. This year’s fest takes place August 2-4.

Grammy-winning bassist/vocalist Spalding takes the stage on Saturday, August 3, with her band, Radio Music Society. Pianist/composer Glasper and his band the Experiment follow Spalding with their infusion of jazz, R&B and hip-hop. The band won Grammy for Best R&B album this year for 2012’s Black Radio.

Southern-based pianist and melodica player Batiste and his band Stay Human bring their talent to the stage Sunday, August 4. A graduate of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and Julliard, Batiste has performed in 40 countries with an array of artists, including Prince and Jimmy Buffett. Keyboardist Hiromi precedes Batiste with her trio, a group that merges rock and classical themes.

Saturday’s show also features guitarist Halvorson, an artist who has taken the stage alongside Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton and other performers. Colombian harpist Castañeda will also bring his ethereal Afro-Indian style to the stage on August 3.

The Newport Jazz Festival kicks off August 2 at 8:00 p.m. with Natalie Cole and the Bill Charlap Trio and special guest Freddy Cole at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. The festival continues Saturday and Sunday at Fort Adams State Park. Tickets and more information are available on the Newport Jazz Festival website.