George Wein Biography

George Theodore Wein, 3 October 1925, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. After studying formally, Wein began playing piano professionally in his early teenage years. He led his own band in and around his home town for a period, frequently accompanying visiting jazz musicians. In 1950 he opened his own club in Boston, the Storyville, formed his own record label (which had the same name) and was thus launched on his second career as a jazz impresario. In 1954 he was invited to organize the first Newport Jazz Festival and subsequently played an important part in establishing other major international festivals, including the annual Grande Parade du Jazz at Nice in the south of France, launching Festival Productions in 1960. In addition to his work on festivals around the world, he has also actively promoted such organizations as the New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra, and taught jazz in Boston.

Although his work in promotion has been enormously time-consuming, Wein has never lost his desire to play piano and regularly appears with all-star bands on festival programmes and record dates. While his career as a pianist might perhaps be overlooked, his importance to jazz through his non-playing activities has been of great significance. Together with Norman Granz, he has been a major force in maintaining the highest standards of presentation and performance, and in ensuring that his artists are given the respect that is their due.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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