Press/Journalists

Press Release
June 5, 2014

National Archives Celebrates 60th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival on June 19

With free noontime documentary screening and evening discussion

Washington, DC…On Thursday, June 19, the National Archives continues its Jazz at the National Archives series with a noontime screening of Jazz on a Summer’s Day and an evening panel discussion titled "Jazz in the USA: On the 60th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival."

The screening and discussion are part of a series of jazz programs hosted by the National Archives, with its nonprofit partner the Foundation for the National Archives. The series coincides with the 60th anniversary of the famed Newport Jazz Festival and includes jazz-related panel discussions, concerts, film screenings, and other special events exploring one of America’s greatest cultural exports. See details.

Jazz at the National Archives is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Natixis Global Asset Management.

The programs will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.

Noon Film Screening: Jazz on a Summer’s Day
In 1958, photographer Bert Stern produced and directed this chronicle of the Newport Jazz Festival. Featuring performances by Louis Armstrong, Anita O’Day, Mahalia Jackson, and Thelonious Monk, the film is filled with illuminating images of late 1950s America. (84 minutes.) George Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, will introduce the screening.

7 p.m. Panel Discussion: Jazz in the USA: On the 60th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival
For the 60th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, journalist Soledad O’Brien moderates a panel discussion with George Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz Festival; Dan Morgenstern, author, archivist, and NEA Jazz Master; and jazz musicians Jonathan Batiste and Christian McBride. Film clips of the 1960 festival (from the holdings of the National Archives) will complement the discussion. This program will be webcast live on YouTube YouTube icon

Panelist Bios:

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, and producer and has reported on breaking news from around the globe. She is the originator of the highly successful documentary series Latino in America and Black in America. In June 2013, O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty, and opportunity, through personal stories. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, O’Brien and her husband, Brad, created the O’Brien Raymond Foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college. In 2013, O’Brien joined Harvard University as a Distinguished Fellow and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the National Archives.

Jazz impresario George Wein produced the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954– an event that started the festival era. Five years later, Wein and folk icon Pete Seeger founded the Newport Folk Festival. In 2011, Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc., was created to help maintain these festivals into the future. At age 88, Wein has as much creative fuel as he did when he started the Newport festivals and advanced the concept of live music. He pioneered the idea of sponsor association with music events, beginning with the Schlitz Salute to Jazz and the Kool Jazz Festival. In 1970, Wein founded the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. His company went on to produce titled events for JVC, Mellon Bank, Verizon, Essence, Ben & Jerry’s, and others. As a result of his diverse contributions to jazz and world culture, Wein has been honored by heads of state, educational institutions, and leading publications. Wein is an NEA Jazz Master (Jazz Advocate) and in 2012 was given the APAP Award of Merit for Achievement in Performing Arts. In addition, honors and awards have been bestowed upon him by Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, AARP, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the French Legion d’Honneur, Chile’s Order of Bernardo O’Higgins, and other organizations around the world. Wein is the recipient of honorary degrees from the Berklee College of Music, Rhode Island College of Music, Five Towns College, and North Carolina Central. Wein is a lifetime Honorary Trustee of Carnegie Hall, a member of the Board of Trustees at Jazz @ Lincoln Center, and on the Board of Directors of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. Wein’s autobiography, Myself Among Others: A Life in Music (Da Capo Press), which chronicles his life in jazz, was recognized by the Jazz Journalists Association as 2004’s best book about jazz.

Dan Morgenstern is a jazz critic and librarian. Morgenstern moved to the United States from Germany in 1947 and attended Brandeis University from 1953 to 1956. He wrote for jazz publication Jazz Journal from 1958 to 1961, and following this edited several jazz magazines: Metronome in 1961, Jazz from 1962 to 1963, and Down Beat from 1964 to 1973. He is the author of the book Jazz People and has arranged jazz concerts and lectures over the course of his career. In 1976 he was named director of Rutgers–Newark's Institute of Jazz Studies, where he continued the work of Marshall Stearns and made the Institute one of the world's largest collections of jazz documents, recordings, and memorabilia. Morgenstern is widely known as a prolific writer of comprehensive, authoritative liner notes, a sideline that has garnered him eight Grammy Awards for Best Album Notes since 1973. In 2007, Morgenstern received the A. B. Spellman Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jonathan Batiste is a musician, entertainer, educator, and bandleader from Kenner, Louisiana. Jonathan is a member of a long lineage of musicians from the Batiste family of Louisiana and began playing music at an early age. In 2012 he was listed on ARTINFO as among the "30 under 30" most influential people in the art world. He has collaborated with many acclaimed musicians in various genres of music, released recordings of his own, performed in over 40 countries and has appeared acting in both film and television. Most recently he was appointed as the Associate Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and regularly tours with his band Stay Human.. He received a masters degree from the Juilliard School and currently resides in New York City.

Christian McBride is an American jazz bassist. His father, Lee Smith, and his great uncle, Howard Cooper, are well known Philadelphia bassists who served as McBride's early mentors. He is regarded as a virtuoso and is one of the most recorded musicians of his generation, having appeared on over 300 recordings as a sideman. He is also a three-time Grammy award winner.

New reservation system for the public:

Reservations for public programs in the McGowan Theater can now be made online through the Foundation for the National Archives:

1. Register at http://www.archivesfoundation.org/events

2. Print your email confirmation and bring it to the program.

Walk-ins may be admitted, pending seat availability. To reserve by phone or for more information, call 202-357-6814.

The National Archives Building in Washington, DC, is Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. To verify the date and times of the program, call the National Archives Public Programs Line at 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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