Wein Scholarships Send 45 Students to Newport Jazz Festival

By 
Allen Bush
June 22, 2018
Press release
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Danilo Pérez; photo by John Abbott
Danilo Pérez, Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer, and founder and artistic director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.
George Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz Festival and chairman of Newport Festivals Foundation.
Image by John Abbott
Image by Ayano Hisa

Students from across the world will be mentored this summer at the site of one of the world’s most legendary jazz festivals. The Berklee Global Jazz Institute Workshop at the Newport Jazz Festival offers young vocalists and instrumentalists a five-day intensive jazz program taught by world-renowned faculty. Led by Danilo Pérez, the Grammy Award-winning artistic director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), and Marco Pignataro, managing director for the BGJI, the program features master classes by musicians appearing at the festival, ensemble rehearsals, and final performances on the Newport Jazz Festival stage. The workshop takes place July 30 to August 3 at Salve Regina University. 

Participants will attend the workshop on full scholarships provided by the Newport Festivals Foundation and the Joyce and George Wein Foundation. Additional support comes from the Mary Hailer Scholarship Fund established by John and Maureen Hailer. Their generosity makes it possible for 45 students from more than 10 countries, including Panama, Chile, South Africa, Israel, Argentina, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, and Australia, to be mentored by some of the world’s most accomplished jazz musicians. The total value of the scholarships awarded for 2018 is $70,000. Established in 2016, more than 150 students have participated in the workshop, receiving a total of $210,000 in scholarships.

“One of the joys of living long enough and having achieved a degree of success in one’s career is being able to give back. I am very happy that the Joyce and George Wein Foundation, which my late wife and I created a number of years ago, is able to support this wonderful program,” said Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz Festival and chairman of Newport Festivals Foundation. “Joyce was a remarkable woman who worked by my side on everything that I did.”

A Workshop with a Festival Spirit

The Berklee Global Jazz Workshop at the Newport Jazz Festival is designed as an intensive five-day program for students ages 15 to 18. Each day will feature master classes in improvisation, theory, performance, harmonic analysis, and instrumental instruction. Ensembles will rehearse during the day, while evening jam sessions and open mics give students opportunities to collaborate and put new skills to practice. Throughout the week, Newport Jazz Festival artists will visit the workshop where they will listen, critique, and share their experiences as working musicians.

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute is a performance program designed to foster creativity and musicianship at the highest level through various musical disciplines, and advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society. Along with Pérez and Pignataro, the Berklee Global Jazz Workshop will include Berklee faculty Jason Palmer on trumpet; Tia Fuller on saxophone; Yoron Israel and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums; Bruno Raberg on bass; alumna Sara Serpa on vocals; and six recent grads of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.

"George Wein’s passion, dedication, and support for jazz has been instrumental for the expansion of Berklee's summer programs to Newport, and the creation of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute for high school students at the festival,” said Pérez. “The mentoring of these young talents from our faculty and the experiential learning approach of performing at the festival is a powerful and enduring way to nurture the next generation of jazz talent. It is an honor to be a part of this incredible experience."