Wednesday, July 31, 2013
2013 Newport Jazz Festival® Celebrates The 35th Anniversary of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, which Revolutionized the Classic New Orleans Brass Band Style with Funk and Bebop
NEWPORT, RI – Showcasing the powerful and enduring excitement and influence of New Orleans brass band music on American culture, the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival® presented by Natixis Global Asset Management is celebrating the 35th Anniversary of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band on Sunday, August 4, at 1:25 pm on the Harbor Stage. The festival, which celebrates its 60th anniversary next year, takes over Newport beginning August 2 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino and August 3 and 4 at historic Fort Adams State Park.
"When the Dirty Dozen swings into Newport, jazz fans are in for a treat," said George Wein, producer and creator of the Newport Jazz Festival. "We go back together since their beginning and I am always excited to hear their special magic. In fact, I recorded their first album through the George Wein Collection on Concord Records. They ushered in a bold new sound then, and they continue to make their mark on new audiences around the world."
The now seven-piece ensemble, which revolutionized the traditional New Orleans brass band style by incorporating funk and bebop into the mix, has been a major influence on many Crescent City based brass bands over the ensuing decades. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band's success inspired a resurgence of New Orleans' brass band music, both in the city and nationwide. The band was most influential in the 1980s, when they demonstrated by example that brass band music could be successful by moving beyond a type of music that risked becoming known as simply a tourist attraction.
Established in 1977 by bass drummer Benny Jones, with members of the Tornado Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has brought to its global travels a strong appetite for musical adventure, a commitment to honor tradition while not being constrained by it, and a healthy sense of humor.
To describe how the group arrived at its 35th anniversary, trumpet player Gregory Davis employs a tried-and true New Orleans-centric analogy: "It ends up being like a pot of gumbo - you drop in a little okra, drop in a little shrimp, you drop in some crabs. Before you know it, you've mixed in all these different ingredients and you've got a beautiful soup. That was our approach to music early on and it still is today."
Baritone sax player Roger Lewis –– who, like Davis, has been with the band since its inception in 1977 –– echoes that sentiment: "It's a big old musical gumbo, and that probably made the difference, separating us from other brass bands out of New Orleans. It put a different twist on the music. We were not trying to change anything, we were just playing the music we wanted to play and not stay in one particular bag."
To celebrate its 35th Anniversary, which was technically in 2012, the band released Twenty Dozen, its first studio release in six years. Cut at the Music Shed in New Orleans, the collection reunited the Dirty Dozen Brass Band with producer Scott Billington, who helmed their first major label release Voodoo in 1989. The set offers a blend of R&B, jazz, funk, Afro–Latino grooves, Caribbean flavors, a Rihanna cover – and a high spirited rendering of "When the Saints Go Marching In."
Produced by Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.™, the Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, is set for August 2 – 4 featuring Natalie Cole, Wayne Shorter with special guest Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Eddie Palmieri, Marcus Miller and many more. For the complete line–up and more information, log on to www.newportjazzfest.orgor call the Newport Festivals Foundation hotline at (401) 848-5055.
The Newport Festivals Foundation 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 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. Through the establishment of partnerships with local high schools, colleges/universities and other organizations, the Foundation will present programs to educate young people about jazz and folk music as presented at the annual festivals. For more information, please visit www.newportfestivalsfoundation.org.
The 2013 Newport Jazz Festival® and Newport Folk Festival® are productions of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.™, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, under license from Festival Productions, Inc. and George Wein; all rights reserved.