59th Jazz Festival stars Cole, Hancock

The Newport Jazz Festival is returning to Rhode Island for its 59th year.

The festival gets underway Friday with a performance by Natalie Cole at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. On Saturday, the event moves to its longtime home at Fort Adams State Park for the first of two days of music. Dozens of jazz artists are scheduled to perform on three stages.

Jazz impresario George Wein organized the first festival in 1954 and says he's particularly proud of this year's lineup, which features stars including Cole, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea alongside dozens of up-and-coming artists.

Over the decades the festival has showcased a who's who of jazz superstars: Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk.

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