36: George Wein at 90 - Looking forward to the future
George Wein opened his first jazz club, Storyville, in the early 1950s when he was a young man. He then created the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954. The festival became an icon among music festivals and influenced the way music was presented around the world.
George turns 90 this year, and he continues to stay vital and vibrant, working tirelessly to further the mission of his festival and his foundation (Newport Festivals Foundation). Although his festivals have been responsible for bringing jazz, folk and pop music to general awareness, he is unabashedly a jazzman. As he says, “you gotta stick with jazz.”
I spent a recent afternoon with him at his dining room table in Manhattan, talking about his past, present, and incredibly, his future. We started out with him asking me my age. It caught me off guard, but as he explained “when you know someone’s age, you know a little bit about where they’re coming from.”
This interview kicks off a weekend of Newport Jazz Festival related coverage – I’ll be traveling to Newport with my father, Ben Sidran, to pick up where we left off in Europe last week. I can’t wait to share the results with you soon!
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