Remembering George Wein: Jazz Fest Founder Faced Obstacles When Forming New Orleans Music Event
Musician George Wein, who founded the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1970, died Monday at the age of 95, according to a report from NPR.
He was best known for co-founding the Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festivals in 1954 and 1959, respectively, which set the standard for the modern concept of outdoor music festivals to come.
It was through his Festival Productions Inc. company that he developed other music festivals and tours, such as New Orleans Jazz Fest and Essence Festival of Culture, reported the Times-Picayune.
The pianist and professor of jazz studies at Boston University encountered some obstacles, however, when bringing his festival concept to New Orleans to form what would become one of the most anticipated annual music events in the city.
In this interview conducted by Mark Cave for the Historic New Orleans Collection, Wein said that “prejudice never goes away; you just have to make it uncomfortable for the people who are prejudiced.” To hear what happened when George Wein walked into a bar with 10 priests, click the link below.