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Commissioned Pieces Showcased at 2016 Newport Jazz Festival
(Published: September 26, 2016)

Peter Apfelbaum, Ben Williams, Sullivan Fortner and Tyshawn Sorey Presented Newly-Commissioned Works at 2016 Newport Jazz Festival®
with Support from the Doris Duke/George Wein Artist Commission Fund

Wilco's Nels Cline Introduced New Music from "Lovers" in Newport, Made Possible by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Grant

NEWPORT, RI, September 26, 2016 -
Continuing its six-decade long tradition of presenting new music and emerging artists alongside some of the biggest and brightest stars in the world of jazz, the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival® presented by Natixis Global Asset Management introduced four newly-commissioned pieces by pianist Peter Apfelbaum, pianist Sullivan Fortner, drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Ben Williams, plus new music from Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke/George Wein Artist Commissioning Fund.

"One of the highlights of the Newport Jazz Festival for me, and I hope for jazz fans from around the world, is to hear what comes from the minds of today's young jazz musicians," said George Wein, CEO of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. and founder of the festival. "The talent out here is outstanding and I have always encouraged artists to be as free and creative as their hearts and heads can put forth. We were impressed with the music of these four musicians and look forward to hearing more from them in the future."

The commissioned music ranged from hyper-rhythmic playfulness to tension-filled energy to a happy tune and an ever-changing story. "New Colors" from Peter Apfelbaum's Sparkler (July 29) was inspired by the excitement of new ideas and explored different combinations of instrumentation. The Sullivan Fortner* Quartet (July 29) presented "Newport Theme," an upbeat tune that featured his idea of Newport's festive feeling. Tyshawn Sorey & Alloy (July 29) showcased "Novellas," a series of short works that are intended to change based on how they are played within a concert. "Ballet (for the Elephant in the Room)" by Ben Williams & Sound Effect (July 31) used a light melody with dark undertones to focus on the country's issues of race and race relations. Also on July 31, Nels Cline introduced "Lovers," a 25-year dream that came true with his recording of intricate, romantic music performed by a big band with strings.

The 2016 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management was held July 29-31 at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The artists included Chick Corea Trilogy with Christian McBride and Brian Blade, Norah Jones, Kamasi Washington, Gregory Porter, Angelique Kidjo, Monty Alexander, Galactic, Joey Alexander, Charles Lloyd, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Robert Glasper Experiment, The Heath Brothers, Tierney Sutton, The Hot Sardines, Donny McCaslin, Anat Cohen Tentet, The Bad Plus, Lizz Wright and many more.

The 2017 Newport Jazz Festival® presented by Natixis Global Asset Management is set for August 4 - 6.
In addition to the Festival's presenting sponsor, Natixis Global Asset Management, support comes from Alex and Ani, North Coast Brewing Co., Toyota, D'Angelico, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Rhode Island Foundation, Ticketmaster and travel partner, WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. The Preferred Hotels of the Festival are Hotel Viking, Newport Marriott, Hyatt Regency Newport and The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina. Media supporters are DownBeat, JazzTimes, WRIU and WICN.

* * *

Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.™ was founded by George Wein in 2010 to build and continue the legacies of the famed Newport Jazz Festival® and Newport Folk Festival®. Under the auspices of the Foundation, the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals present performers who respect and honor jazz and folk music traditions, and at the same time reflect the changes in today's musical trends. In addition, the Foundation presents programs to educate young people about jazz and folk music as presented at the annual festivals. For more information, please visit www.newportfestivalsfound....

# # #

The Newport Jazz Festival®, Newport Folk Festival™ and Bridgefest® are productions of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, duly licensed. All rights reserved.

*Sullivan Fortner is an American Pianists Association Cole Porter Fellow.

More Information: http://www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org

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