Airs Monday, June 2 at 8 p.m. One gets the sense that the pianist feels completely at ease with his Experiment quartet, running his right hand in circles, cracking jokes and switching directions on the fly. Along the way, he's cracked the mold of how jazz might approach the hip-hop and R&B of today.
Airs Monday, May 26 at 8 p.m. Eddie Palmieri has earned the right to be confident: He's been leading Latin jazz and salsa bands for more than 50 years, and playing in them even longer. "I don't guess I'm going to excite you with my band," he's been known to say. "I know it." For a performance on Newport's main stage, he assembled a large group for maximum effect.
Airs Monday, May 12 at 8 p.m. Amir ElSaffar grew up around Chicago as something of a trumpet prodigy, in both jazz and classical. He was winning competitions and beginning to make a go of it in New York. Then he started investigating his Iraqi heritage in music, and studying the hammered dulcimer and the modes of various Middle Eastern musics. This band splits the difference, using microtonal techniques to investigate the blues. They'll have new tunes too, commissioned for Newport and supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Airs Monday, April 5 at 8 p.m. This year actually marks three dozen years since the first incarnation of the group coalesced to resurrect a then-disappearing tradition — and infuse it with both bebop and funk. One of the original new-school New Orleans brass bands ignites dancing in the aisles and guarantees a good time. As with many a show since '77, there was dancing and handkerchief-waving aplenty, and several original members were present to anchor the proceedings.
Airs Monday, april 28 at 8 p.m. Guitarist Rez Abbasi's new electronics-enhanced trio is driven by what its leader calls "textural surprise." As heard on the 2012 album Continuous Beat, the Pakistani-born guitarist's newest repertoire was inspired by the late drummer Paul Motian. On wax, that's a point of departure to explore material as diverse as tunes by Motian's contemporaries, Indian ragas and "The Star-Spangled Banner." Abbasi returns to Newport with a set of original compositions — and one Keith Jarrett tune.