What goes better together than summer and music? Summer, music AND Newport. Whether you fancy folk or jump for jazz, there’s something for everyone in Newport this summer. Read on for the 411 on everything you need to know about the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival.
Folk at Fort Adams
The Fleet Foxes. Wilco. John Prine. The Head and the Heart. The Avett Brothers. Speak Out. Shovels & Rope. Jim James. American Acoustic. Regina Spektor. Offa Rex. Dr. Dog. Ben Gibbard. Drive-By Truckers. Billy Bragg & Joe Henry. What do these and many, many other performers have in common? They’re all appearing at 2017’s Newport Folk Festival this July 28-30 at Fort Adams.
Founded in 1959 by George Wein as a counterpart to the Newport Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival has since introduced many acts on their way to becoming major stars, including the likes of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Muddy Waters. While folk may be front and center, there’s plenty of other fun to be had, including a standing/dancing zone; craft beer and food vendors; official merchandise stations; and a Beer/Wine Garden for the 21-and-over set.
And just because the event is completely sold out doesn’t mean you can’t still get your hands on tickets thanks to an Official Ticket Exchange partnership between the festival and Lyte linking ticket seekers with ticket sellers.
Jazz, Jazz and More Jazz
If you’re jonesing for jazz, meanwhile, you’re in for a phenomenal fix at 2017’s Newport Jazz Festival this August 4-6 at Fort Adams. The event features four stages of world class musicians, food, and crafts and a number of exhibits -- all set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Newport Bridge and the East Passage.
The weekend’s worth of entertainment kicks off with the ceremonial Friday evening concert featuring Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Rhiannon Giddens at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. With both single and multi-day general tickets available as well as reserved seating tickets, the lineup also includes Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, The Roots, Audra Day, Maceo Parker, Snarky Puppy and Branford Marsalis Quartet -- just to name a few. Fan of Hamilton? Tony Award winner for Best Leading Actor Leslie Odom, Jr., AKA “Aaron Burr,” will also take the stage.
Looking to make an extra-long weekend out of it? Don't miss the Newport Festival Foundation’s pre-Newport Jazz Festival, “Bridgefest,” which will bring together American jazz, African beats, and Indian carnation music. Held Thursday evening at Fort Adams State Park, “A Bridge Together,” showcases the shared cultural roots of music and movement. And did we happen to mention it’s free?
Music is inextricably intertwined with Newport’s past, present and future. Which begs the question: Will you be part of history-in-the-making at the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival this year?