7/22/2014 — 

SENATE FLOOR STATEMENT

    Mr. REED. I thank Senator Whitehouse for his eloquent remarks about the jazz festival, which is a great Rhode Island institution. Indeed, it is a great American invention.

    The Newport Jazz Festival owes its beginnings to the vision and financial backing of Elaine and Louis Lorillard, who in 1954 wanted to do something with jazz in their community in Newport . Through their collaboration with George Wein, a jazz pianist and club owner with a vision, the jazz festival was born. Today the festival has grown to be one of the largest and most well-known jazz festivals in the Nation--indeed, I would say the world--attracting a whole new generation of artists and music fans. It also helped pave the way for the creation of the Newport Folk Festival--another pillar of the music festival community.

    George Wein, in producing the Newport Jazz Festival, did not set out to change the world; he set out to make great music. But, as history has shown, great music and great art can change the world. What George Wein did over many summers was produce something more than extraordinary festivals; he produced the soundtrack of freedom for a generation of Americans.

    Since its founding, the Newport Jazz Festival has seen an eclectic range of performers--emerging and established--many at the peak of their art--all embellishing their credentials through their performances. From Duke Ellington, to Frank Sinatra, to Led Zeppelin, the Newport Jazz Festival has seen them all. Its ongoing mission is to celebrate jazz music and to make the case for its relevance.

    The 60th anniversary festival stays true to its core mission. It will kick off on August 1, 2014, and is scheduled to feature a variety of talent over 3 days, including Wynton Marsalis playing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Trombone Shorty, and Dr. John. It will also include one musician who played at the inaugural Newport Jazz Festival, Lee Konitz.

    Newport continues to attract top-notch performers and is still a must-see event for jazz and music aficionados alike.

    I would also like to recognize the impact the Newport Jazz Festival has had and continues to have in our great State of Rhode Island. Each year, the thousands who flock to Newport to witness the festival also have an opportunity to experience the treasure of a Rhode Island summer. In this way the Newport Jazz Festival has served as a major source of tourism--an important industry for our State--and should be viewed as a model for other communities to follow.

    I am proud to call the Newport Jazz Festival a home State event. On this milestone anniversary, I wish to congratulate my dear friend George Wein, the festival board, and all those who have worked and those who continue to work to put this outstanding event forward each year. Best wishes on a successful 60th anniversary festival and for continued success in the future.

    CONGRATULATING THE NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL

    Mr. REED. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. Res. 510, submitted earlier today by Senator Whitehouse and me.

SENATE RESOLUTION 510--CONGRATULATING THE NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL ON ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY

Mr. REED (for himself and Mr. WHITEHOUSE) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

S. Res. 510

Whereas, in 1954, the first Newport Jazz Festival featured icons of American jazz such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Dizzie Gillespie;

Whereas the Newport Jazz Festival has provided some of the most memorable moments in jazz history, including the Duke Ellington Orchestra's 1956 performance of ``Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue'', featuring a 27-chorus saxophone solo by Paul Gonsalves;

Whereas the ongoing mission of the Newport Jazz Festival is to celebrate jazz music and to make the case for its relevance;

Whereas the Newport Jazz Festival has become a world-renowned event featuring established and emerging artists and bringing together music lovers, musicians, academics, and critics;

Whereas for the past 60 years, the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival have made a difference in the cultural life of the people of the United States and have provided a soundtrack of freedom for generations; and

Whereas, from August 1, 2014, through August 3, 2014, thousands of people will come together in Newport, Rhode Island, to celebrate the 60th Newport Jazz Festival: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) commemorates the 60th Newport Jazz Festival taking place from August 1, 2014, through August 3, 2014, in Newport, Rhode Island;

(2) recognizes the historical significance of the Newport Jazz Festival and the role the festival has played in celebrating jazz music and making it relevant to generations of people in the United States; and

(3) recognizes the musicians, sponsors, volunteers, and the community of Newport, Rhode Island for continuing the tradition of the Newport Jazz Festival.