Desert Island Jazz
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  • George Wein (2010)
    Boston-born George Wein personifies the Italian word impresario: he has a knack for organizing Big Things. He's had some really big ones, too, beginning with his founding of the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, the world's first outdoor festival exclusively for jazz.

    Before that, George had begun as a piano player, then opened the Storyville club in Boston in 1950, and established the record label of the same name. Later he started more events, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, and the Newport Folk Festival. In the 1960s he formed Festival Productions, dedicated to promoting large-scale jazz events. It was George who pioneered the idea of corporate sponsorship in order to get more monies behind the music.

    Among the countless honors George has received over his six-decade-long career are those at the White House by not just one but two presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. In 2005 he was named an NEA Jazz Master. And his autobiography is one of the best on jazz, "Myself Among Others: A Life in Music".

    60 years later, George is still a pretty good piano player, and a sweet singer, too (he's done both for Luciano Pavarotti).
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Louis Armstrong The Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, Vol. 2 Potato Head Blues Columbia
    # 2 Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Vol. 6 Night and Day Pablo
    # 3 Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Vol. 4 Mean to Me Pablo
    # 4 Charlie Parker Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes Just Friends Verve
    # 5 Billie Holiday The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol. 3 This Year's Kisses Columbia
    # 6 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra At Newport Jeep's Blues Columbia
    # 7 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra At Newport Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue Columbia
    # 8 Giacomo Puccini La Bohème, Luciano Pavarotti et al. Che Gelida Manina Decca
    # 9 The Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars European Tour These Foolish Things Concord
    # 10 The Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars European Tour Through for the Night Concord
    Book "A library of the Great Books: ... Dante, ... Milton, ... Shakespeare, ... [James] Baldwin"
    Luxury Item Great Burgundies from the 60s and 70s
    Castaways by dateNo castaways found for 2023.