You are here:Home>Jazz News>Press Releases>Ron Della Chiesa: Aficionado Hosts Friday Night Jazz Festival Concerts

Ron Della Chiesa: Aficionado Hosts Friday Night Jazz Festival Concerts

Aficionado Hosts Friday Night Jazz Festival Concerts
for More Than Two Decades

NEWPORT, RI - George Wein and his jazz festivals have been a tradition in Newport for the past 55 years, but there's another mainstay that music lovers have come to anticipate - Ron Della Chiesa as the host of the Friday night concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino, 194 Bellevue Avenue. This year, Della Chiesa teams up with Jazz Festival 55 to host Etta James and the Roots Band with openers Howard Alden/Anat Cohen Quartet on August 7 at 8:00 pm.

"I can't think of a better person than Ron to host the Friday night concert series," said George Wein, founder and producer of Jazz Festival 55. "I have known him since he interviewed me in 1966 when we brought the Metropolitan Opera to Newport and we have built a great friendship over the decades. He has hosted the Friday night opening concerts for 26 years and we look forward to another great year."

Della Chiesa added, "One of my most memorable evenings occurred before I met George. In 1956, I was still in High School and attended the most historic concert in Newport Jazz history - the famous 'Ellington at Newport' evening that resulted in what many consider to be the greatest jazz concert ever! Little did I imagine that some 53 years later I would be hosting the opening nights of the world's most famous Jazz Festival."

Ron Della Chiesa made his radio debut at age 10 on a children's program in his home town of Quincy, MA. He joined WGBH in 1966 as a part-time news and promotional announcer for Channel 2. Three years later, he switched to radio to host two WGBH/89.FM classical music programs, Prelude and Morning Pro Musica. Before long, Ron found himself behind the microphone of an afternoon classical music show, an afternoon jazz show, a late-night jazz show and an overnight show called 'GBH After Hours. He continued to explore the relationship between classical, jazz and other musical forms, expanding his lineup to showcase live performances and classical programming on The Classical Hour, Great Voices and live broadcasts of The Boston Symphony Orchestra. Attracting an impressive roster of in-studio guests, this lover of "Heifetz, Fiedler, Callas and Leontyne as well as Sinatra, Shearing, Tormé and Cleo" is as likely to be on the air talking painting with pal Tony Bennett as discussing the golden age of coloratura with soprano Phyllis Curtin.

Della Chiesa attended Boston University's School of Public Communication, where he worked part-time at the university radio station, WBUR-FM. He served in the Army Reserves, and then landed his first full-time job at Boston's WBOS-FM, where he hosted culturally diverse programs. He later was selected to hold simultaneous posts as the music host and program director for WBCN-FM, then an all-classical music radio station. While at WBCN, he also worked part-time as a television announcer for Boston stations WBZ/4 and WNAc/7 (now WHDH-TV).

It's Ron's broad musical expertise, embracing both classical music and jazz that keeps him in demand both on the air and off. He is also in demand and noted for his many lectures on opera, classical music, jazz and the Great American Songbook.


Tickets are on sale nowfor George Wein's Jazz Festival 55 on-line at, by phone at (800) 514-3849 and by mail. General admission tickets (single-day passes only) also can be purchased in person at the Visitor's Center at the Newport County Convention & Visitor's Bureau located at 23 America's Cup Avenue in Newport. General Admission seating is first-come/first-served on the lawn. Patrons may bring blankets and low-backed beach chairs. General Admission: Adult: $69.00 in advance, $75.00 on festival weekend, if available. Children 3-15: $15.00 each day at all times; under 3, free. Adult Two-Day Passes: A limited number of two-day passes good for admission Saturday and Sunday will be available for $125.00 while they last. There will be a Reserved Seating section on one side of the grass in front of the main stage. There is no child's price for reserved seating sections. No coolers are allowed in reserved seating sections. Gold Circle: $100.00; Reserved: $85.00. Parking: On site festival parking: $12.00 per vehicle in advance; $15.00 on festival weekend.

Service Charges: Per ticket service charges apply to all tickets purchased on-line or by phone and there is an additional per order charge for phone orders. There is a $4.00 handling charge per order for tickets ordered by mail. In Rhode Island: General Admission tickets (single-day passes only) can be purchased in person at the Visitor's Center at the Newport County Convention Center & Visitor's Bureau at 23 America's Cup Ave. No service charges apply. Visit for ticket office hours and general information.Festival Office: Tickets can now be purchased in person at the Festival office, located at 770 Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, RI. Office hours in June are Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon - 4:00 PM. Cash and credit cards accepted. For general information, craft vendor information or to leave a message for festival staff, call the festival hotline at (401) 848-5055.

By Mail: To order tickets by mail, send a note specifying the number of tickets you wish to order for each event and include a phone number where you can be reached. Include your address and credit card information (with expiration date and CVC Code from back of card), check or money order plus $4.00 per order for postage and handling to: George Wein's Jazz Festival 55, PO BOX 3865, Newport, RI 02840.

For more information, log on to

# # #

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: George Wein's Jazz Festival 55'
Login to post comments