The world of jazz is poorer after the death of George Wein, because a piece of history dies with him. And that’s not just a figure of speech.
Wein was a pianist, impresario, producer, manager of the most important American artists He did practically everything, or almost everything, that makes music possible. First of all, however, he was the man who invented the jazz festival as we know it today. This fantastic world, of which Umbria Jazz is part, exists because a man, a visionary, imagined it. Thus was born the Newport Festival, and then that of New Orleans, but also the Newport Folk Festival, home of the popular soul of American music.
It is not easy, in fact it is rare, that talent and professionalism combine so well with passion. In George there was all this in equal measure. So, in this way, he has been a maestro to all those who have decided and worked to give jazz and its artists a spectacular space in which to create culture and emotions.
George Wein’s long life is over but his precious legacy remains, allowing us every year, all around the world, to turn the lights on his favourite creature, the Jazz Festival.