The Newport Festivals Foundation fosters the legacy and expands the impact of its Festivals through educational initiatives that celebrate innovation while preserving the deep traditions inherent in Jazz and Folk music.



Across New England, our goal is to foster opportunity, inspire through exposure and facilitate the collection of resources needed for musicians to celebrate and innovate. Our focus on creating unique experiences to spark engagement is accomplished through a variety of initiatives:

SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES: We bring traveling ensembles consisting of festival alumni to schools all across New England, exposing students to the artists and their craft.

JAZZ STUDENT TICKETS: We offer discounted tickets to high school and college-aged students to provide access to music at the Newport Jazz Festival.

INSTRUMENT DRIVE: We place new and gently used instruments in the hands of deserving students throughout New England.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB: We proudly fund the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County’s after-school music program year round.

STUDENT BAND PERFORMANCES: We provide a unique opportunity for students to perform and collaborate with other artists in a professional setting at the 2017 Newport Folk and Newport Jazz Festivals.

FOR PETE'S SAKE: Hosted by Chris Funk of the Decemberists, "For Pete's Sake" provides a platform for musicians to perform at our Folk Festival who carry the spirit and show dedication to the traditions of bluegrass, gospel, world and roots music, to which Pete and Toshi Seeger dedicated their lives.




JULY 27 – 29, 2018

Since 1959, the Newport Folk Festival® has held a unique place in America’s musical and cultural history. A hub for the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s and the site of Bob Dylan’s famous switch to electric guitar in 1965, the festival also hosted the first major appearances of Joan Baez, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Arlo Guthrie, and sparked the revival of gospel, Cajun and blues. Today the festival still serves the musical omnivores, the fans who crave innovation but appreciate tradition.



July 30 – August 2, 2018

Celebrating folk, jazz and Newport’s musical community, Bridgefest® will include concerts, films, educational programs and music-related activities presented by local promoters and venues  in and around Newport. Now in its second year under the Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. banner, Bridgefest® was founded in 2009 by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County to “bridge” the days between the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals.



August 3 – 5, 2018

The Newport Jazz Festival®, started in 1954, was the first jazz festival in America and served as the stage for legendary performances by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and many others. Referred to as the granddaddy of all jazz festivals, the event draws thousands of people from all over the world to Newport. Currently presented by Natixis Investment Managers, the event is held over three days at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Fort Adams State Park.


2018 NEWPORT Festivals foundation gala

Saturday August 4, 2018

Save the date for our eighth annual Newport Festivals Foundation Gala for an evening of cocktails, food, and intimate performances featuring artists from the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Held at The Elms, one of Newport’s magnificent homes, we look forward to celebrating the spirit of Folk and Jazz on what is sure to be an unforgettable evening.

More information on artists and tickets to come.



Jay Sweet
Executive Producer

Jill Davidson
Festival Director

Christian McBride
Artistic Director, Newport Jazz

Brittany Ryan
Associate Producer

Christopher Capotosto
Creative & Marketing Director

Tim Tobin
Site Director

Deborah Ross
Director of Education

Deb Girard
Ticketing Director

Carolyn McClair
Publicity Director, Newport Jazz

Dan Swain
Foundation & Administrative Coordinator

Anjali Krishnan
Marketing Assistant, Newport Jazz


George Wein*

Bruce Gordon*

Nicholas Pell

Tim Albinson
Jim Bildner
Patricia Blanchet
Tom Busard
Dick Cashin* 
Jerome Chazen* 
Michael Dorf
Leyla Ertegun* 
John Hailer
Vikas Kapoor* 
Roger Kass
Jim Lanzone
Ronald MacKenzie
Ward Mooney
Jonathan Nelson
Jay Sweet
William Vareika*

Past Members:
Joshua Feigenbaum*
Elliot Hoffman*
William Lewis, Jr.*
Deborah Ross*
Bruce Trauner*

* Founding Member


Newport Festivals Foundation
P.O. Box 3865
Newport, RI 02840