BG: Newport Folk & Jazz Go Non-Profit

Earlier this week, organizers of the famed Newport Jazz and Folk festivals announced that they would be returning to their roots to once again become non-profit events. The granddaddy of all music festivals, which began in 1954 and 1959 respectively, have created the Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc., who in addition to producing the festivals, will also establish partnerships with local schools, colleges and universities to develop programs to help educate young people about jazz and folk music.

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The 2011 Newport Folk Festival will take place on July 29 – 31, while the Newport Jazz Festival will run from August 5 – 7. Artists and ticket on-sale dates will be announced in the spring.

Finally, we’ve got some news to share on The Decemberists, who made our recent list of acts we’re excited about in 2011. Yesterday, it was revealed that the thesaurus rock-act had claimed the number one spot on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, selling 93,567 of their highly recommended new studio effort The King Is Dead. In addition to their highest charting album ever, Colin Meloy & Co. have invited Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins to join them for their entire 2011 tour, where she will bring her vocal and fiddle prowess to the band’s new Americana-tinged material.

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