Newport Jazz 2012 Preview: Up-And-Comers

Drummer Dafnis Prieto, who was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011, will lead his sextet at Newport. (Courtesy of the artist)
Drummer Dafnis Prieto, who was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011, will lead his sextet at Newport. (Courtesy of the artist)

In 2007, at age 81, Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein sold his production company — which proceeded to go out of business. So he started over, making a special effort to see more of the New York City jazz scene, and found that a lot had changed since the last time he was going to so many shows. Naturally, Wein, now 86, brought some of it back with him. And in jazz, "some" has a way of leading to "more," such that recent Newport Jazz Festivals have been noticeably sparked by the infusion of younger bandleaders and their visions for the jazz tradition.

World-renowned headliners are still there, of course; we'll explore five of the veterans and stars appearing at Newport 2012 next week. But for now, here are five bands, all of them making their first appearances at the "grandfather of jazz festivals," who represent new generations of jazz expression. You'll get to see some of them during NPR Music's live video webcast of the Newport Jazz Festival on the weekend of Aug. 4-5, 2012.

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