NCCU to perform at Newport Jazz Fest

Posted April 22, 2009 4:49 p.m. EDT

The North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble has accepted an invitation to perform at the legendary Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, R.I.

The 21-student ensemble will perform on Aug. 8 as part of “Marsalis Music Presents.” Saxophonist Branford Marsalis is an artist-in-residence at N.C. Central, and he and his pianist, Joey Calderazzo, also will perform at the festival.

Established in 1954 by jazz impresario George Wein, the Newport Jazz Festival is the oldest and most prestigious jazz festival in the U.S. The jazz greats who have performed at the festival include Count Basie, Jerry Mulligan, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Rollins and Ella Fitzgerald.

Wein received an honorary doctorate from N.C. Central in 2005, and the jazz ensemble performed a tribute in his honor.

The school's jazz ensemble also has been invited to perform at the 30th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which will be held Labor Day weekend.