|Born||October 3, 1925|
Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||September 13, 2021 95) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Festival producer, concert promoter, musician|
|Associated acts||Ruby Braff, Howard Alden, Warren Vache|
George Wein (October 3, 1925 – September 13, 2021) was an American jazz promoter, pianist, and producer.He was the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, which is held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island. He also co-founded the Newport Folk Festival with Pete Seeger and Theodore Bikel and was instrumental in the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Wein was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on October 3, 1925.His father, Barnet, worked as a ear, nose, and throat doctor; his mother, Ruth, was an amateur piano player. Both of his parents were Jewish. Wein was raised in Newton and began learning the piano when he was eight. He developed a passion for jazz while attending Newton High School, where he formed his first jazz band. He studied at Boston University, where he led a small group which played professionally around Boston. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he graduated from Boston University's College of Liberal Arts in 1950.
After graduation, Wein opened the Storyville jazz club and established the Storyville record label.He also taught a course at Boston University on the history of jazz.
In 1954, Louis and Elaine Lorillard invited Wein to organize a festival in their hometown of Newport, Rhode Island, with funding to be provided by them; the festival was the first outdoor jazz festival in the United Statesand became an annual tradition in Newport. Wein was subsequently instrumental in the founding of a number of festivals in other cities, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival , and the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, and established the Newport Folk Festival. In the 1960s he set up Festival Productions, a company dedicated to promoting large-scale jazz events.
Wein pioneered the idea of corporate sponsorship for his events. His Schlitz Salute to Jazz and Kool Jazz Festival were the first jazz events to put sponsors in the title: Schlitz beer and Kool cigarettes. Festival Productions organizes the JVC Jazz Festival at Newport and JVC Jazz Festivals in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, Warsaw, and Tokyo.Other title sponsors of Festival Productions events include Mellon Bank, Essence magazine, Verizon, Ben & Jerry's, and Dunkin' Donuts.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed George Wein among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
Wein received a wide array of honors for his work with jazz concerts. He received the Patron of the Arts Award from the Studio Museum of Harlem in 1995,and was recognized with an Impact Award from the AARP in 2004. He was decorated with France's Légion d'honneur and appointed a Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the French government. He has been honored at the White House by two American presidents, Jimmy Carter in 1978 and Bill Clinton in 1993. In 2005, he was named a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. His autobiography, Myself Among Others: A Life in Music was singled out as 2004's best book about jazz by the Jazz Journalists Association. Wein received honorary degrees from the Berklee College of Music and Rhode Island College of Music, and was a lifetime Honorary Trustee of Carnegie Hall.
Wein was a distinguished member of the Board of Directors Advisory committee of the Jazz Foundation of America. He has also performed and presented at the Jazz Foundation's benefit concert "A Great Night in Harlem". He presented the Saint of Jazz award to Harry Elias of JVC America in 2002.
In 1959, Wein married Joyce Alexander (1928–2005), a gentile of African American descent.The couple established The George and Joyce Wein Collection of African-American Art.
Wein died at his home in Manhattan on September 13, 2021, at age 95.
Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island. It is located in Narragansett Bay, approximately 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Providence, 20 miles (32 km) south of Fall River, Massachusetts, 74 miles (119 km) south of Boston, and 180 miles (290 km) northeast of New York City. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its historic mansions and its rich sailing history. It was the location of the first U.S. Open tournaments in both tennis and golf, as well as every challenge to the America's Cup between 1930 and 1983. It is also the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and an important Navy training center. It was a major 18th-century port city and boasts many buildings from the Colonial era.
Charles Ellsworth "Pee Wee" Russell, was a jazz musician. Early in his career he played clarinet and saxophones, but he eventually focused solely on clarinet.
Newport Folk Festival is an annual American folk-oriented music festival in Newport, Rhode Island, which began in 1959 as a counterpart to the Newport Jazz Festival. It was one of the first modern music festivals in America, and remains a focal point in the expanding genre of folk music. The festival was held annually from 1959 to 1969, except in 1961 and 1962, returned to Newport in 1985, and has been held at Fort Adams State Park since then.
Newport Jazz Festival is held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island. Elaine Lorillard established the festival in 1954, and she and husband Louis Lorillard financed it for many years. They hired George Wein to organize the first festival.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is an annual celebration of local music and culture held at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jazz Fest attracts thousands of visitors to New Orleans each year. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation Inc., as it is officially named, was established in 1970 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (NPO). The Foundation is the original organizer of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell Oil Company, a corporate financial sponsor. The Foundation was established primarily to redistribute the funds generated by Jazz Fest into the local community. As an NPO, their mission further states that the Foundation "promotes, preserves, perpetuates and encourages the music, culture and heritage of communities in Louisiana through festivals, programs and other cultural, educational, civic and economic activities". The founders of the organization included pianist and promoter George Wein, producer Quint Davis and the late Allison Miner.
Rhode Island is a state of the United States, located in the New England region. The first organ said to be designed for church use was installed at Trinity Church in Newport in 1733.
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Storyville was a Boston jazz nightclub organized by Boston-native, jazz promoter and producer George Wein during the 1940s.
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