George T. Wein, the father of the jazz festivals movement, was born October 3, 1925 in Boston, MA. Although his head committed him to pre-med studies at Boston University, his heart led him to a life in music.
In 1950, George opened his own club, Storyville, in Boston. He produced the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival five years later. Both festivals continue to be saluted as cultural icons in Rhode Island and around the globe. Wein founded his renowned production company in 1960 and now, more than five decades later, he and his New Festival Productions continue to present concerts and festivals featuring the world’s greatest new and established artists.
Wein advanced the business of live music and pioneered the concept of sponsor association with music events, including festivals for Schlitz, Kool, JVC, Mellon Bank, Verizon, Essence, Ben & Jerry’s, and CareFusion. Symphony Space partnered with the CareFusion Jazz Festival in June 2010, producing a series of five diverse concerts featuring Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove & the Jazz Gallery All-Stars, Evan Christopher, and two evenings of vocal magic with Sheila Jordan/Jay Clayton and Gretchen Parlato/Kat Edmondson.
At 85, Wein continues to perform around the world with his Newport All-Stars. Recently, he and his band entertained audiences at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City, the Voll-Damm Jazz Festival in Barcelona, Spain, the Heineken Jazz Festival in Puerto Rico, California’s Monterey Jazz Festival, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and his own Newport Jazz Festival.
George Wein has been honored by heads of state, including two separate White House anniversary celebrations of his Newport Jazz Festival and France’s Legion d’Honneur, as well as by educational institutions and leading publications. In January 2005, he was recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts; in 2010, he was honored with the Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.
Wein’s award-winning autobiography, Myself Among Others: A Life in Music, has become a major reference on jazz history. George Wein has a long history of involvement with philanthropy and the arts, including the establishment of the Joyce and George Wein Chair of African American Studies at Boston University, the Alexander Family Endowed Scholarship Fund at Simmons College, and the Joyce Alexander Wein Prize at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Jenny Scheinman is a singer, violin player, composer, and arranger. She grew up in the sticks playing folk music with her family, went on to study at Oberlin Conservatory, and has been performing as a violinist/fiddler since she was a teenager. She has taken the #1 Rising Star Violinist title in the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll and has been listed as one of their Top Ten Overall Violinists for the last five years. In addition, she has garnered numerous high-profile arranging credits with artists such as Lucinda Williams, Bono, Lou Reed, and Sean Lennon, and has toured and recorded with Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Nels Cline, Vinicius Cantuaria, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Mark Ribot.
She has four releases of original music under her belt, the last of which, 12 Songs, was named by The New York Times as one of the Top Ten Albums of 2005. Jenny Scheinman is her debut recording as a singer and it focuses on the American folk/country/rock music of her childhood. Crossing the Field is her fifth instrumental release and features Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, Ron Miles, Doug Weiselman, Tim Luntzel, and Kenny Wollesen, plus a string orchestra led by Eyvind Kang and Brooklyn Rider.
Steve Cardenas has diverse credits as a performer and recording artist. Having started his musical career in Kansas City, he is now an integral part of the jazz community in New York. Cardenas has backed up such greats as Eddie Harris, Marilyn Maye, Jay McShann, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, and Slide Hampton. He has toured Europe extensively, performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival. He has performed in groups led by such diverse artists as Paul McCandless of the group Oregon, trumpeters/composers Jeff Beal and Mark Isham, bassists John Patitucci and Marc Johnson, as well as vocalists Madeleine Peyroux and Norah Jones. Steve is a member of the Paul Motian Septet, Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra, Ben Allison Band, and Joey Baron’s quartet “Killer Joey.
Along with performing and recording, Cardenas is on faculty at the New School in New York where he teaches the Thelonious Monk Ensemble and gives private lessons. He has also been on faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Siena Summer Jazz Workshop, Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, Langnau Jazz, Jazz Nights in Switzerland, Seda Jazz in Spain, and Jamey Abersold Summer Jazz Camps. Also, Cardenas collaborated with editor Don Sickler on a book of Thelonious Monk’s compositions through Hal Leonard Publishing. The Thelonious Monk Fakebook marks the premier publishing of all of Monk’s compositions together, with many of them appearing for the first time.