Jazz pianist, former Boston club owner and visionary impresario, George Wein created the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 and presided over the annual summer bash in Rhode Island until 1971, at which point he moved the whole operation to New York City for another extended run. Beginning in the early years with such iconic artists as Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins and Woody Herman and featuring such perennial visitors as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Erroll Garner, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck, a veritable Who's Who in Jazz has appeared at the festival since its inception.
Joe Sia was a shooting star, a genuine, hands-down, everyone-agrees-on-this star at shooting [photographs], and his departure from this planet in 2003 at the tender age of 57 was too soon for a man of his talent. Born in the Bronx and a committed Yankees man, Joe loved music and gravitated around the Fillmore East and the flower-power youth-culture rock scene from whence he set out to capture some of the most incredible sounds of the last half-century. How could Joe capture sounds on camera film? He did it by focusing on the faces of the performers and the woozing-oozing crowd and by giving the background, whether simple or wild, the importance it deserved in defining the artist and event. Sia's entire archive consists more than a quarter of a million photographs that document almost 35 years of music genre and giants.