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1989 George Wein
Sun May 07 1989
30:43 - Audio Cassette Master; WAV and Mp3 on Server and Cloud
00:30 Allison Miner introduces George Wein, creator of Jazz Fest; approached in 1969 while working at the Royal Sonesta Hotel; he was working with the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival; wanted both components in one festival; also inspired by the rock rebellion and informal youth concerts of the 60’s and the Beatles 02:00 Original title of Jazz Fest was New Orleans Jazz Festival and the Louisiana Fair; with ONLY artists who were from New Orleans or did something about it 03:00 First Jazz Festival was in 1970 in Congo Square 03:47 George felt the potential for Jazz Fest to grow in the way it did to touch so many people 04:47 Some of the people that Allison found for the Jazz Fest had already played at the Newport Folk Festival; Fife and Drum band from Mississippi, Clifton Chenier, Robert Pete Williams 06:51 George produces 1000 stages during the year in 25 or 30 festivals per year; sponsored by Ben and Jerry, Miller, Playboy, JVC Electronics, Melon Bank 07:04 George is first a musician and jazz lover; played with Edmond Halls Quartet and Max Kaminsky and Peter Russell; found his ability to organize and coordinate things and started Mahogany Hall and Storyville Nightclubs; loved Louis Armstrong and the influence of New Orleans and its importance to jazz 08:30 He has a band called the Newport Jazz Band 10:05 George loves how the Jazz Festival has helped changed the city of New Orleans because it gives one hope that the world can change like New Orleans has; that people can live together and work together 11:15 In terms of racial balance and people working together Jazz Fest is succeeding; Jazz and Heritage Foundation (Board of Directors) is the organization that manages funds for the artists involved and the radio- Allison describes in detail; didn’t make money until 1975; have come a long way to be able to give back to the community 13:40 Demonstration 17:00 As George gets older his relationships with other musicians in the context of being a promoter and organizer get better and he feels allowed to play at his shows more 19:30 Allison and George talk about the difficulties of touring in Europe 20:22 After managing artists George realized that he couldn’t produce events and manage careers; records artists seldom on Concord Records: the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Terrence Blanchard, Donald Harrison 22:18 George talks about the difficulty of personal goals as a creative innovator and leader; wants to build the company so that the young producers there can continue the work they’ve done and float with the times 23:11 Newport Jazz Festival started in 1954 (35th Anniversary); JVC Festival in New York is the direct descendant of the Newport Jazz Fest; Nice is George’s favorite festival 25:32 Discuss the privilege of experiencing the ambience of getting down in New Orleans and the chance to participate in that. 26:50 Audience questions; ticket refund in 1970 28:28 Is the festival going to get bigger and go 3 weekends? Not likely; Play another tune? 29:20 Demonstration
George Wein. Allison Miner interviewing.
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New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive