NPR Music

Newport Jazz Festival
11:05 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Jon Batiste And Stay Human: Newport Jazz 2014

Jon Batiste embraces the crowd at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:20 am

Jon Batiste has a way with exits, as musicians from New Orleans tend to. Days before his day-ending set at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival, the pianist and singer walked out of The Colbert Report's theater with a studio audience and a dancing Stephen Colbert in tow. And following a high-energy Newport set — where his expanded Stay Human band played turbocharged versions of standards, rags and his own party anthems — he switched from piano to melodica and led the band into the main stage audience.

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Newport Jazz Festival
2:25 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

'As Long As They Want To Play': Newport Jazz At 60

Velma Middleton is accompanied by Louis Armstrong at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival.
Paul S;ade Getty

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 2:22 pm

This year, the Newport Jazz Festival is celebrating its 60th anniversary. For most of that time, its guiding force has been producer George Wein, who remembers all too well the first event in 1954.

It was pouring rain. Wein was being urged to call it off but refused. The audience stayed, broke out their umbrellas, and the musicians played. The scene was caught by a photographer.

"And that picture went out all over the world," Wein says, "of people sitting for five hours in the rain, listening to jazz."

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Song Travels
2:07 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Sam Friend On 'Song Travels'

Sam Friend.
Kaitlin Hanrahan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:58 am

Sam Friend and his band the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys play jazz, blues and originals, drawing on the sound of grassroots jazz combos from a century ago.

In this edition of Song Travels, Friend joins host Michael Feinstein to discuss his transition from New York trio musician to New Orleans bandleader. He shares his love of traditional "jass" with a rendition of "Sweet Lorraine" on six-string banjo.

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A Blog Supreme
11:59 am
Fri August 1, 2014

5 Acts Not To Miss At Newport Jazz 2014

The audience at the main stage of the Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 2:07 pm

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World Cafe
11:03 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Jarekus Singleton On World Cafe

Jarekus Singleton.
Paul Natkin Courtesy of the artist

Our guest today is Mississippi bluesman Jarekus Singleton, who recently released an album called Refuse to Lose.

Until an ankle injury short-circuited his athletic career, Singleton was a prospect in the NBA Draft out of college. As he recovered, he practiced guitar and later started writing. While he liked a number of genres, including hip-hop, he loved the blues and began playing in that style. We'll hear the full story from Michaela Majoun as Singleton joins World Cafe today.

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