Fujifilm XE-1 does The 2015 Newport Jazz Festival (Image Heavy)


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It was great walking around with a small Lowepro holster and carrying a pair XE-1s (1 borrowed) and an 18-55 and a 55-200. I hardly felt the load. On the other hand, my family cooler lost a wheel about half-way to the gates, so the quarter-mile walk from parking lot was a different story. A sign of the times - at the parking lot and gate were big notices - "No Drones."

The Fujinon 55-200 is stunningly good. I met a Fuji shooter who had the higher end 50-140/2.8, and he was intrigued by the slower but longer, lighter optic. The detail is stunning and most of the photos here are with that lens.

The thing that makes these cameras really great: The spot-on focus. Phase Detect is fast, but Contrast Detect is brilliantly accurate. If I could get a lock-on, it was in focus, Period. And that's the beauty of these systems - no front/back focus issues. As long as the subject isn't moving that fast, you'll get in-focus shots all the time.

The pit was a bit of a mess, but at least the rules were the same if you were credentialed or not. First three songs and you were out. Cassandra Wilson was a bit of a letdown though, as they kicked us out after only two despite the roadies coming through specifically saying "Three songs only guys."

The calm before the show:


Roscoe Mitchell of Made in Chicago - he has one of the most expressive faces I've seen on stage.


L-R, Larry Gray, Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill of Jack DeJohnnette's Made in Chicago performing an incredible seven minute improvisation - it was stunning.


One of the rare female Orchestra Band Leaders in the business - Maria Schneider, and behind her is an enormous Contra-Bass that has to be wheeled wherever it goes.


Maria's not known for her conventionality. Her Orchestra includes an accordion, which fits in quite well, believe it or not.


The man himself - George Wein. Modern music festivals have a lot to thank him for - he pioneered the concept of corporate sponsorship to create such events, starting with Schlitz Beer and Kool Cigarettes. Locally, his name is associated with both the world-famous Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Behind him is John T. Hailer, Americas & Asia CEO of the current Festival sponsor, Natixis Global Asset Management.


One of the big draws of the Festival - Jon Batiste and the Stay Human Band. They played both the Folk and Jazz Fests back-to-back; a very energetic group.


Jon's signature instrument - the unusual Melodica or Keyboard-Flute.


Stay Human includes some of the finest brass players in the business, including Eddie Barbash and the very young and talented Grace Kelly who's only 23.


Stay Human's Ibanda Ruhumbika earning double-pay by playing both the tuba and the trumpet:


(Continued below)


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Dancing in the aisles...


..and enterprising fans in small boats (note the propane-fired cooker on the left):


A rare unobstructed shot of Stay Human - for a few minutes during the last song before they kicked us out of the pit, all I could get was heads of other photographers.


Jon Batiste - you never know what he'll do next - Security certainly didn't when he jumped off the stage with Eddie, Grace and Ibanda in tow and started playing in the audience, up and down the left side of the main aisle, almost all the way to the piers and back. Security and the camera teams were scrambling the whole time.



The Marketing Shot: trombonist Marshall Gilkes with the venue displayed prominently.


Cassandra Wilson closes out the evening with her dulcet tones:


Casually seated Charles Burnham on a very neat e-violin:


Lonnie Plaxico holding down the beat:


Everyone's "In The Groove:"


Thanks for looking!


Student for life
A great series indeed! I thoroughly enjoyed looking at it. With some music in the background that worked really well!


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I had NO idea that George Wein was still alive. I feel like he was already a middle aged man in the early 60s.

Really great set. Looks like a great afternoon of jazz.

Thanks Luke! Yep, George keeps on rolling. His only concession to time is that he now has a custom golf cart to get around, otherwise he's got the energy of a man half his age.

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