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5 To Watch: Newport Jazz Festival Debuts

by Patrick Jarenwattananon
Jul 31, 2013

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cover to Sweet Chicago Suite cover of Numerology cover to Inana Dee Alexander is among the artists leading a band for the first time at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival. Vocalist Dee Alexander is one of several artists making her debut at the Newport Jazz Festival. cover to Wild Is The Wind

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Major jazz gatherings such as the Newport Jazz Festival — which dates back to 1954 — have always relied on big names to attract visitors. The 2013 edition is no different, with headliners such as Wayne Shorter (with Herbie Hancock), Marcus Miller, Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri and Esperanza Spalding.

But in recent years, Newport Jazz has held surprises throughout its entire lineup, thanks to programming designed to bring more names into the fold. Some may be career sidemen getting a little spotlight for their own bands; some may be critically acclaimed ensembles finally getting a shot at the granddaddy of jazz festivals; some might be experimentalists whose appeal transcends the arcane.

Whatever the case, here are some — not even all! — of the bandleaders making debut appearances at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival. For more coverage from Newport, join us this weekend, August 3-4, as we webcast live concerts from seaside Rhode Island: npr.org/newportjazz.

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