A golden gala for first jazz festival

Jan. 25, 2004 at 4:33 PM
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NEWPORT, R.I., Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The 50th anniversary edition of the legendary Newport Jazz Festival this August will open with a star-studded black-tie all-star gala.

Organizers said the Aug. 12 event at The Breakers, Newport's most opulent Gilded Age mansion, will honor many of the artists presented by the Newport Jazz Festival over the years.

The guest list will include Bill Cosby, Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis, United Press International reported.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the non-profit Preservation Society of Newport County, trustee of one of America's greatest collections of historic house museums, including The Breakers. The Breakers was built in 1895 by architect Richard Morris Hunt as the summer residence of the family of Cornelius Vanderbilt II.

"It is a privilege to be celebrating this historic evening at The Breakers. This will be another first in the long history of our festivals and I'm grateful to our sponsor JVC, who has helped us bring the festival into the 21st century," said festival producer George Wein.

The original Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 was one of the most important events in the history of jazz. In the past five decades, it has presented the greatest names in American music.

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