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American Jazz Festivals Disappearing

The Freihofer’s Jazz Festival in Saratoga is going strong into its 32nd year, but today The New York Times published an interesting article explaining why many other long running jazz festivals, including the JVC Jazz Festival in New York City, will not take place this year.

Two years ago the impresario George Wein sold his company, Festival Productions, to a group led by Chris Shields, a charismatic entrepreneur who planned to transform Mr. Wein’s empire through aggressive growth. Now that plan has all but collapsed, as Mr. Shields’s company, Festival Network, has lost its top sponsor, as well as several signature festivals, delivering what many call a painful blow to jazz.

Last year Festival Network presented 17 festivals around the world, but Mr. Shields said he has none to announce this year. The company lost its contract for the Newport jazz and folk festivals in Rhode Island because of late payments for use of state parkland. The Freihofer’s Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., another longtime Wein event, has gone to a competitor…

New York Loses Its Jazz Festival

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