2023 Backstage Donor Celebration

Thank you for joining us for a truly special night!

We hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did. 

If you would like to watch the Foundation video, click here.

If you would like to make a donation to support our work, please click here. Checks can be made out to Newport Festivals Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 3865 Newport, RI 02840

Below you will find a few photos that capture the magic of the evening. All photos by Nina Westervelt.

We look forward to seeing you at the Backstage Donor Celebration. Below, you will find all of the information for the event. If you have any questions, please email dan@newportfestivals.org or call/text 401-527-9777


DATE/TIME: Saturday, August 5th. Cocktail Hour begins at 7pm.

LOCATION: Backstage Anchor Tent, gathering place for Newport Jazz and Folk Artists at Fort Adams State Park. 

CHECK IN: Starting at 6pm on Saturday, you will be able to “check in” to the Donor Celebration. See map here for check in location.

SATURDAY FESTIVAL TICKETS:  If you would like to join us for the festival day on Saturday, we will leave complimentary tickets for you at the box office under your name. Photo ID will be necessary for ticket pick up.

PARKING:  CLICK HERE for a link to your parking pass. Please print it out and place on your dashboard. If you require an additional parking pass, please email dan@newportfestivals.org 

Please Note: We do not recommend taking the ferry. Ferry service will not run after the event.

Due to outgoing festival traffic, it may prove difficult to arrive at the Fort on Saturday evening. We encourage you to arrive by 6 pm at the latest and factor an extra hour into your drive.

Please note that you will be subject to a security bag check before entering the event.

Dinner will be served, and of course, we’ll have an intimate concert with Newport Festival artists.

Casual attire


As a thank you for your support, we are offering Donor Celebration Invitees the exclusive opportunity to take part in a silent Art Auction featuring the following three rare artworks from the Joyce and George Wein Collection:

Artist: Leroy Neiman (1921-2012)

Dizzy Gillespie, 1980. Watercolor & gouache on joined paper 35 x 27 1/2 inches. Opening bid: $2,500

Artist: Miles Davis (1926-1991)

Untitled (Abstract), n.d. Acrylic on unstretched canvas 53 x 25 1/2 inches Opening bid: $5,000

 Artist: Oliver Johnson (1948-2021)

Ray Charles.  n.d. Ink drawing on paper. Framed. 34.5 x 29 inches Opening bid: $1,500

If you are unable to attend the event but would like to place a bid on the artworks, please email your maximum confidential bid to dan@newportfestivals.org by Friday, August 4th at 6pm EST. Please also state which specific artwork(s) you are bidding on. If you are the highest bidder, we will notify you on Sunday morning and arrange delivery. 

All proceeds will benefit the George Wein Memorial Fund for students to attend the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals for free.


Joyce and George Wein were avid art collectors, especially of African-American artists. They did their research carefully in some cases and in other instances, simply bought what they liked.  They often knew the artists, as they did the three who are represented here. These artworks hung in the Wein’s New York City apartment, alongside dozens of other works by renowned and lesser-know artists.


The auction will end 10 minutes after the last performance 


Miles Davis (1926-1991) may be the best known name here, but not everyone knew that he was a painter as well as a world renowned musician. Davis began painting in the 1980s.  He gave two paintings to George, both of which he asked to be returned, which George would not. It is unknown if George paid for the paintings or why Miles wanted them back, but there was surely a good story behind the transaction. Davis paintings have sold for as much as $45,000 at auction.


LeRoy Neiman (1921-2012) was a longtime jazz fan.  He often came to the Jazz Festival and sketched artists.  Known for his large colorful paintings of sports figures (and his handlebar mustache), Neiman created this watercolor of “Dizzy Gillespie” in 1980. LeRoy Neiman artworks have sold for as much as $430,000 at auction.


Oliver Johnson (1948-2021) was completely self-taught and started drawing when a young boy. He had a tumultuous youth and spent time in and out of reform schools and prisons. During confinement, he would search the prison library to find books and magazines of art. He also taught other inmates to paint. Later his talent was recognized by a New York gallery and his first exhibition was held at the prestigious Wildenstein Gallery. Today Johnson’s artworks hang in major collections in the United States and Europe. Johnson would paint and draw artworks of jazz musicians and regularly drop them off at George’s apartment, hoping correctly that some of his visitors might be interested.


A special thank you to the Joyce & George Wein Foundation, Inc. for the donation of these rare and important artworks.

If you would like to make a donation to support the mission of Newport Festivals Foundation, please click here. Checks can be made out to Newport Festivals Foundation and mailed to P.O. Box 3865 Newport, RI 02840


Your donation to Newport Festivals Foundation will help ensure the future of our festivals and support musicians and music education programs across the country.