The two-part tour to performing arts centers and college campuses across the country will feature some of the most distinguished names in jazz. The first Northeast-Midwest leg, through Feb. 29, will feature saxophonists James Carter and James Moody, pianist Cedar Walton, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Howard Alden, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash.
The second half, a West Coast-Southwest tour March 7-27, will feature trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Lew Tabackin, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, singer Lea DeLaria, and drummer Karriem Riggins, along with Walton, Alden, and Washington.
The original Newport Jazz Festival began in July 1954 in the Rhode Island seaside city for which it was named. It became the model for jazz festivals held around the globe.
A limited edition CD of highlights from the festival's early years, "Newport at 50: Happy Birthday, Baby!" will be available exclusively for purchase on the tour, producer George Wein said.