Public Programs And Events

George Wein, Jazz Impresario - Pianist | Eyes of the Entrepreneurs

George Wein, Jazz Impresario - Pianist | Eyes of the Entrepreneurs

School of Jazz Performance Space, Room I531, Arnhold Hall
General Public 

The New School for Jazz's Eyes of the Entrepreneurs series presents a talk with George Wein.

Wein (born October 3, 1925) is an American jazz promoter and producer who has been called "the most famous jazz impresario" and "the most important non-player... in jazz history". As the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival, Wein was a pioneer in the creation of the summer music festival model, which is now a multi-billion dollar international industry. 

Later, he pioneered the concept of sponsor association with music events; the Schlitz Salute to Jazz and the Kool Jazz Festival preceded any other sponsor identity with entertainment events, giving the sponsor the title presentation which guaranteed mention of the sponsor's name in publicity and promotion. His company went on to produce titled events for JVC, Mellon Bank, Verizon, Essence, Ben & Jerry's, CareFusion and others.

At 87, Wein has as much creative fuel as he did when he started the Newport festivals and advanced the concept of live music. In 2010, he founded Newport Festivals Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that will perpetuate the history of jazz and folk music in Newport and allow the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals to live on in perpetuity.

Wein has received a wide array of honors for his work with jazz concerts. He received the Patron of the Arts Award from the Studio Museum of Harlem in 1995, and in 2004 was recognized with an Impact Award from the AARP. He was decorated with France's Légion d'honneur and appointed a Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature) by the French government. He has been honored at the White House by two American presidents, Jimmy Carter in 1978 and Bill Clinton in 1993. In 2005 he was named a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. His autobiography, Myself Among Others: A Life in Music was singled out as 2004's best book about jazz by the Jazz Journalists Association. Wein has received honorary degrees from the Berklee College of Music and Rhode Island College of Music, and is a lifetime Honorary Trustee of Carnegie Hall.

The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music presents the Eyes of the Entrepreneurs series which is dedicated to empowering artists to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in taking responsibility for their art and their career. More than ever before, musicians are their own businesses. Each week we feature notable guest artists, who will discuss the paths they took in developing their vision and life in music, as well concepts like authenticity and integrity, skill development, community building, networking, and more.

[Photo by Ruby Washington]

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