Airs Monday, January 27 at 8 p.m.Randy Weston has long nurtured a pan-African outlook in his life and music, having spent years living in Morocco and studying traditions from throughout the continent. And when you're 85, as he is, "long" means from the bebop era to the present day. He remains a distinctive and imposing piano stylist, and his African Rhythms Trio closes the Quad stage on the first day of the Newport Jazz Festival.
Airs Monday, January 20 at 8 p.m. His bloodline alone makes him something of a prince of jazz. But his legendary father died when he was a toddler, and Ravi Coltrane blazed his own trail on the tenor saxophone; indeed, his ideas about composition and flow and tone sound most at home with his own generation of improvisers. His quartet has developed a new set of repertoire for a new album in the works. We get a good midterm progress report from the Harbor Stage at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival.
Airs Monday, January 13 at 8 p.m. Lately, the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón has been listening to some of his parents' favorite music. That is, he's adapted a handful of classic popular songs from his native Puerto Rico for his jazz quartet. And on his forthcoming album Alma Adentro, he even contracted his friend Guillermo Klein to write backing arrangements for a 10-piece woodwind section. Lush and verdant — like the tropical isle which inspired them — the charts see a rare public performance at Newport's central Quad Stage.
Airs Monday, January 6 at 8 p.m. The Grammy Award-winning ensemble performes at the Newport Jazz Festival. Decades after his death, the richly-detailed, soul-stirring oeuvre of Charles Mingus still packs a wallop. Thankfully, the beat goes on in the form of the Mingus Big Band — one of several repertory ensembles organized by widow Sue Mingus. Its latest, Grammy-winning album captures the ensemble's regular residency at the Jazz Standard in New York; this recording finds the band sparking the action on the Fort Stage of the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival.
Airs Monday, December 30 at 8 p.m. The Berklee College of Music in Boston has educated at least eight bandleaders playing this year's Newport Jazz Festival, and several other sidemen. So it's appropriate that the school annually sends one of its most enterprising student groups to Newport. At the Harbor Stage, Puerto Rican saxophonist Mario Castro leads a group of musicians from places as far-flung as South Korea, Israel and California, and as close as a few hours north on the Massachusetts coast.