Need to Know Newport, RI: Week of July 27


“Busking @ Bowen’s Wharf” brings musicians downtown all week as part of Newport BridgeFest. Photo by Kara DiCamillo.

So long, Folk Festival, hello Bridge and Jazz fests! Here’s what you need to know to get your week going, Newport.

• Filling the four-day gap between the Folk and Jazz festivals is Newport BridgeFest, which begins today, Monday, July 27. Now in its seventh year, the event features live music at venues throughout the city, including Bowen’s Wharf, Queen Anne Square, and Redwood Library. The Opening Night Sunset Soiree will be held tonight, 6–8 p.m. at Sanford-Covell Villa Marina on the Point, with live music by ZanRicky and a performance by the RI Ballet Theatre. Visit the Bridgefest website for a complete calendar of events.

• On Wednesday, July 29 from 3:30 till 5:30 p.m., the Newport Restoration Foundation is hosting Windmill Wednesday, a recurring family-oriented event at historic Prescott Farm in Middletown. Get a peek of how a grist mill works and taste traditional johnnycakes. The event is free; donations are welcome.

• Join the Newport Festivals Foundation – the non-profit arm behind the Folk and Jazz Fests – for its annual Family Concert on Wednesday, July 29 from 6 to 7 p.m., featuring folk and jazz music with Guy Davis, Mark Murphy, and the Eli Yamin Trio at Fort Adams State Park. Arrive early for face painting, balloon figures, and food vendors. The event is recommended for all ages, and especially caters to children ages 1–10.

• Ballard Park invites kids to a “Rocks Rock!” workshop on Thursday, July 30 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Kids will hike through Ballard Park and learn to identify rock types, how they got there, and about the park’s history as a working quarry. The cost is $5 and registration is required. This event is best suited for kids ages 6-12.

• In celebration of Aquidneck Island’s great musical traditions, the Lois Vaughn Trio will perform at a Jazz Clambake at Newport Vineyards on Thursday, July 30. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes a quintessential New England meal paired with the property’s wines. Thee event costs $70 per person (or $60 without lobster). Reservations are required.

• Also on Thursday, July 30, newportFILM Outdoors will screen What Happened Miss Simone? at Doris Duke’s Rough Point. With rare footage and recordings, the documentary is an unforgettable portrait of singer Nina Simone, a misunderstood yet beloved artist. Jazz and Folk festivals founder and producer George Wein and film director Liz Garbus will be on hand to introduce and discuss the film. Prior to the screening, live music will begin at 7:15 p.m., with the film itself starting at 8:15. An r.s.v.p. is required; suggested donation is $5.

• The Newport Jazz Festival begins Friday, July 31 at 11 a.m. at Fort Adams State Park and continues through the weekend. A kick-off cocktail party and concert will also be held Friday night at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where Jon Batiste & Stay Human (who also played Folk Fest this year) and trumpeter Chris Botti will delight the crowd with an outdoor concert. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; performances begin at 8. The cocktail party has sold out, but tickets for the show, which are still available, start at $40.

For more stuff to do, check out our events calendar.

Kara DiCamillo loves eating, traveling, shopping, and everything outdoors. She is an active volunteer in her Newport, Rhode Island community and has backpacked Mt. Washington in New Hampshire too many times to count. Kara started her online writing career with TreeHugger in 2005 and currently contributes to several websites focusing on lifestyle, food, and travel.

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