George Wein Cause of Death: How Did The Legendary Jazz Festival Trailblazer Die?
The creator of the Newport Jazz Festival, George Wein, died on Monday, September 13, at his home at the age of 95.
Although his representative never stated what caused his death, sources reported that the impresario passed away "peacefully in his sleep" in his apartment in Manhattan, New York City, according to his spokesperson Carolyn McClair.
The official Twitter account of the Newport Folk Festival also released their statement by saying, "We have all lost a giant champion of jazz, art, philanthropy, and equality." They also added, "There will never be another like him."
It is with immense sadness that we let you know of the passing of our founder and north star, George Wein. We have all lost a giant champion of jazz, art, philanthropy, and equality. There will never be another like him. Rest easy, George. #georgewein https://t.co/1AMOzOtq86 pic.twitter.com/8NEGu0Wc19— Newport Folk Fest (@Newportfolkfest) September 13, 2021
Wein founded the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival and gave the genre a wider following by luring music legends from small clubs to perform outdoors for larger and younger audiences, per Bloomberg.
His Fruitful Movement
George Theodore Wein was born on October 3, 1925, in Newton, Massachusetts, raised by Jewish parents. New York Times reported that Wein was approached regarding the familiar idea of Jazz festivals, which seemed to start in both Paris and Nice in 1948.
And as stated by the article, Wein was incomparable when it comes to being ambitious with the festivals he managed since July 1954, where they held it on the grounds of the Newport Casino. During that time, they presented a weekend of jazz in the open air of Newport.
Ever since then, he almost single-handedly turned the jazz festival into a worldwide phenomenon. Big stars filled his festival lineups with appearances from Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, and more during those days.
For The Love Of Jazz
Following the inaugural Newport Jazz Festival led by the philanthropist, it drew the attention of news media and gathered thousands of audiences over two days.
Every major jazz performer appeared in the said festival for the following decades, adding Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, and Wynton Marsalis to the list.
And by 1965, the bill also featured Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, John Coltrane, Ellington, Gillespie, Davis, and Monk. After a massive success over his first festivals, Wein produced events in various venues overseas: Warsaw, Paris, Seoul, and roaming the United States.
The success of Wein promoting jazz and folk helped pave the way for the profusion of rock festivals from the late 1960s up to the early 1970s.
And still, jazz is the one he loves the most.