JVC Pulls Out of Jazz Festival, But George Wein Still Putting On Some Shows

George Wein Festivals

JVC, the longtime flagship sponsor for New York’s annual Jazz Festival is pulling out this year, putting the festival in limbo until a new sponsor emerges. Terry Shea, a spokesman for JVC made the following statement to the Associated Press:

“JVC is proud of its association with the Jazz Festivals, but the marketplace in which JVC competes today has changed dramatically, and so JVC has chosen to take our promotional activities in a different direction, and one that will no longer include jazz event sponsorship…” [AP/Yahoo! News]

Undeterred by the lack of corporate sponsorship, legendary jazz festival producer George Wein will be putting on three events in late June under his own name. Nanaimo’s own Diana Krall will headline Carnegie Hall on June 23 and 24 under the “George Wein Presents” banner, and a third Wein production featuring Jamie Cullum with Marco Benevento will take place on June 20 also at Carnegie Hall. Acccording to a quote in the AP article, Chris Shields, executive chairman of Festival Network, claimed that they had “every expectation of producing another outstanding NYC Jazz Festival in 2009.” Though, also according to the same article, several unnamed Jazz industry insiders said they were “not aware of any plans for such a festival”.

In addition to his New York productions, Wein is also returning to his roots in Rhode Island (he founded the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals) to produce George Wein’s Folk Festival 50 from August 1 – August 2 and George Wein’s Jazz Festival 55 from August 7 – August 9. Festival Network, who purchased Wein’s company in 2007 and were the set to produce future installments of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, lost their contract with Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management because of late payments [NYTimes.com]. In order to save the festivals, Wein put up his own money and obtained a license from state and local authorities to produce the two festivals this summer [AP/Yahoo! News].

Confirmed performers for George Wein’s Jazz Festival 55 include:

Etta James And The Roots Band, Mos Def, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Joshua Redman Double Trio, Esperanza Spalding, Cedar Walton All-Stars With Lew Tabackin & Curtis Fuller, Hiromi’s Sonicbloom, Ernest Ranglin, Vandermark 5, Christian Mcbride, Vijay Iyer Trio, Marsalis Music Presents Miguel Zenón, North Carolina Central Big Band, Branford-Joey Duo And Claudia Acuña, Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Roy Haynes Fountain Of Youth Band, Michel Camilo, Joe Lovano Usfive, The Bad Plus With Wendy Lewis, Conversation With Christian Mcbride, Millennial Territory Orchestra, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band; Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pac Coalition, Rashied Ali-Charles Gayle-William Parker’s “By Any Means”, Alfredo Rodriguez, The Rodriguez Brothers

Confirmed performers for George Wein’s Folk Festival 50 include:

Pete Seeger, The Decemberists, Arlo Guthrie, Fleet Foxes, Joan Baez, Neko Case, Billy Bragg, Campbell Brothers, The Avett Brothers, Josh Ritter, Gillian Welch, Judy Collins, Del McCoury, Iron & Wine, Joe Pug, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Balfa Toujours, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Tim Eriksen & Shape Note Singers, Langhorne Slim, Ben Kweller and Low Anthem.