Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock Headlining Newport Jazz Festival

Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock and Chris Botti are set to headline a legendary weekend of music at the 2008 JVC Jazz Festival Newport.  Produced by The Festival Network, LLC (FN), the nation’s premiere jazz festival will take place Friday, August 8 through Sunday, August 10 in Newport, RI.  The event will reside in its traditional waterside location at Fort Adams State Park, with a Friday evening festival opening performance at The International Tennis Hall of Fame at The Newport Casino. Tickets go on sale for all three events on Thursday, May 8 at 9am EST.  For more information on package features and pricing, visit or call (877) 655-4TIX.  Tickets may also be purchased locally from 9am – 1pm EST at The Festival Network Ticketing offices: 770 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown, RI.  For directions call (401) 847-3700.

This year’s all-star lineup builds upon JVC Jazz Festival Newport’s storied past, infusing some of the biggest names in jazz with relative newcomers, while incorporating some of music’s most respected artists from a variety of musical genres. From 2007 Grammy® Award Album of the Year winner Herbie Hancock to Anthony Hamilton Blues Project to Lettuce, the festival aims to reach broad new audiences while staying true to its roots.  The Festival Network, which assumed control of Festival Productions festivals in 2007, has taken a meticulous curatorial approach to booking a festival that strikes a balance between tradition and exploring new, jazz-influenced directions.

"There are some acts that are favorites from the festival’s past, but then half the fun of Newport Jazz has always been the discovery of the next generation of musicians through stand alone shows and great collaborations," commented Tom Shepard, CEO of The Festival Network. "We respect the traditions of Newport, and feel a responsibility toward the festival’s fans, artists and host community to create an event worthy of its deep history."

The 2008 JVC Jazz Festival Newport continues a legacy begun in 1954, when George Wein launched the modern music festival era with the first Newport Jazz Festival.  Over the decades the event has become an integral thread in the fabric of jazz music, the name itself synonymous with some of the greatest performances in the genre’s long history.  From Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie to Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, each year promises a chance to witness history on the stage.

One yet-to-be-named act will be chosen by the general public from ensembles submitting audition tracks to, giving one performer or ensemble the thrill of a debut at the legendary festival.

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