Corinne Bailey Rae. Photo by ALEXANDRA VALENTI

NEWPORT — From Herbie Hancock to to Dianne Reeves, and from Common to Tank and the Bangas, this year's Newport Jazz Festival, now in its 65th year, will feature some of the finest jazz musicians in the world this weekend.

The three-day festival kicks off at Fort Adams Park Friday at 11 a.m. with the Berklee Global Jazz Workshop Ensembles on the Harbor Stage at 11 a.m., Mwenso and the Shakes (a troupe of global artists who present music that merges entertainment and artistry with jazz and blues expression through African and Afro-American music) on the Quad beginning at 11:10 and Sun Ra Arkestra on the Fort stage at 11:40 a.m. Singer, songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae will also perform Friday on the Fort Stage, from 2:40-3:40 p.m. A multi-Grammy Award winner, Bailey Rae has received two Grammys and two MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards. She earned her first Grammy in 2008 for Album Of The Year when featured on Herbie Hancock’s “River: The Joni Letters.”

Herbie Hancock will take to the Fort stage Friday from 5:45-7 p.m. to close out the evening. Jon Batiste and Friends will play Friday at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at 8 p.m.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., the URI Big Band will play on the Harbor stage, while The Royal Bopsters, featuring Sheila Jordan will play on the Quad. Ralph Petersen and the Messenger Legacy will kick things off on the Fort Stage Saturday at 11:30 a.m., and will be followed at 1 p.m. by Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Memphis Soul Symphony at 1 p.m. Buika takes the stage at 2:45 followed by Dianne Reeves at 4:15 p.m. Kamasi Washington, who gained acclaim with the 2015 release of “The Epic,” which included elements of hip-hop, classical and R&B music, will close the night on the Fort Stage with a 6-7:15 p.m. performance.

On Sunday, Sons of Kemet will play the Quad stage from 2-3 p.m., and Common will take to the Fort stage from 5:35-6:50 p.m. The winner of an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a Grammy, Common, who has produced nearly a dozen studio albums, has been heavily involved in social justice and advocacy work around mass incarceration, mental health and voting and continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles, and continued success at the box office. 

Following his 2011 memoir “One Day It’ll All Make Sense,” Common’s next book “Let Love Have the Last Word” will be released on May 7th, 2019. “Let Love Have the Last Word,” shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer. Common recently wrapped production on the upcoming action drama, "Eve," for director Tate Taylor. The cast includes Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain. After the success and impact of his "Imagine Justice" concert in 2017 and his "Hope & Redemption Tour "to eight different prisons, Common decided to establish and launch Imagine Justice as a new nonprofit in 2018. Centered at the intersection of art and activism, Imagine Justice is dedicated to leveraging the power of art to advocate for communities around the country, to fight for justice and equality and to stand united against injustice wherever it appears. Learn more at

Visit for a full schedule and updates.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.