This past summer the Newport Jazz Festival celebrated its fiftieth birthday. Although now recognized as an institution of immeasurable influence and international reach at inception in July 1954, the now-venerable event was far from a guaranteed success. The inspired idea of Boston nightclub owner George Wein and Newport socialites Louis and Elaine Lorillard, the festival attracted both a massive and motley group of musicians and fans to the summer playground of the American aristocracy. Its roaring debut was, to quote one author, both a shot across the bow of high culture and a shot in the arm of the jazz world. Certainly, both performers and enthusiasts have never been the same since.
Join us as we explore and discuss the history of the Newport Jazz Festival through the use of films, interviews and audio recordings. We will investigate the principals utilized in organizing and producing the first and subsequent festivals, the role the festivals have played in reviving jazz artists careers and introducing new jazz figures, the impact of the 60s cultural revolution on the jazz festivals, the expansion of the festivals to New York, and a review of festival films, recordings and literature.
The course at the Brown Learning Community about the Newport Jazz Festivalse will take place on Tuesdays, from 7-9 pm on April 5, 12, 19 & 26. The fee for participation is $120.
To register, contact:
Office of Summer & Continuing Studies
42 Charlesfield Street/Box T
Providence, RI 02912
Anthony J. (Tony) Agostinelli is a retired professor of social work, formerly a faculty member of the College of Arts and Sciences at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, for almost a quarter century. He taught courses in the fields of social work, social research, the evolution of jazz and world religions. A musician since 1943, he has played accordion, piano, keyboards, and a variety of brass instruments. He has been a member of the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) since 1985, and for a few years served on its Advisory Council.
Mr. Agostinelli has been a radio and TV broadcaster and has published a wide variety of works in the social sciences and jazz history. He currently hosts his own cable access program called "Jazz Bash." Agostinelli's written works include a guide to establish legal regulation for the social work profession ("The Legal Regulation of Social Work Practice"), a book on wines ("The Wrath of Grapes") and a brief history of the Newport Jazz Festival.
Mr. Agostinelli also has written various research articles as well as works on Stan Kenton, Don Ellis, Eddie Safranski, "How to Do Jazz Research," Urban Contemporary Jazz", and "All Jazz Is Fusion." He is the Editor of "The Network," an Internet newsletter for the alumni, friends and fans of Stan Kenton. For the last several years, Mr. Agostinelli has taught in the life-long learning "Circle of Scholars" at Salve Regina University. He will also facilitate a course for the "Brown (University) Learning Community."
Agostinelli is currently working on his first mystery novel, "The Professor Was Dead."
Agostinelli is a graduate of La Salle Academy (Providence), St. Michael's College (Vermont), Boston College and retired Roger Williams College Professor (Bristol, Rhode Island); and has taken post-graduate courses in Family Therapy at Smith School for Social Work; he lives with his wife Barbara (a retired public school guidance counselor and school psychologist) on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. Prior to moving to Portsmouth, they raised their children on the East Side of Providence, where Tony was a life-long resident. They have four married children and five grandchildren.