Described as the first American jazz event, Newport Jazz Festival has been blazing trails for jazz musicians since its inception in 1954. While it was known in the earlier days as a place for traditional jazz musicians to co-mingle, the festival has since attracted younger audiences by broadening its lineup to include funk, soul and even rock musicians. The festival doesn’t stray too far from its roots, though.
This year’s lineup follows suit, showcasing musicians that channel traditional, Billie Holiday-esque croons alongside more modern and experimental acts. The 23-year old first-time Grammy winner Samara Joy — she’s recently been compared to Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald — will grace the stage, and isn’t one to miss. Alongside her is fellow Grammy winner Jon Batiste, a high energy, pan-genre savant from New Orleans who won album of the year in 2022. Funky electronic music duo Big Gigantic will also perform a jazz-centric set for those looking to dance.
Newport Jazz Festival has given the spotlight some of America’s most influential jazz and rock musicians, including Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. This year, up-and-coming artists get to share the bill with legends Herbie Hancock and Bill Charlap Trio.
Also on the lineup: Grateful Dead cover band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, performing with modern jazz luminary Kamasi Washington, a dj set from the pop and R&B fave Anderson .Paak under the new DJ Pee .Wee, and the funky soul bassist and vocalist Thundercat.
While camping isn’t offered on-site, campgrounds are near the festival grounds.
- Though exact numbers aren’t known, over 10,000 people are expected to attend this year.
- Tickets are as follows: 3-Day GA Pass are $281.19;2-Day GA Pass are $193.64; Single Day GA: are $100.94; and children 10 and under are free, with a maximum of two kids at this cost.
- If you’re visiting Rhode Island, check out this guide for the best things to do in Providence.