Newport Jazz Festival will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in August 2014. It is held in Newport, Rhode Island during the summer. The first event was organized by George Wein at the invitation of Elaine Lorillard and he remembers it very well since its inception in 1954. The first day of the initial festival people sat in the rain for five hours making it an unforgettable event. The reason was its lineup of internationally recognized musicians including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Gene Krupa, George Shearing and many others. Most of the early festivals were broadcasted by the Voice of America radio.
One of the rare moments of the history of the festival came in 1956 when Paul Gonsalves blew 27 choruses sending the crowed into frenzy. When the festival was cancelled in 1961, the crowed got angry. Rock was added to the lineup in 1969 and Led Zeppelin brought in huge crowds that year. Even though the jazz festival left Newport in 1972, it came back to the city nine years later.
The 2014 festival will be held from August 1 – 3 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino and the Fort Adam State Park.