Friday, December 21, 2007

R.I.P.: Elaine Lorillard

Elaine Lorillard (festival sponsor)
(b: 11.Oct.1914, Tremont/ME; d: 25.Nov.2007, Newport/RI)

Elaine Lorillard who was one of the founders of the Newport Jazz Festival died November 25th at a nursing home in Newport, Rhode Island, at the age of 93. Together with her former husband, Louis, she had hired George Wein to stage the first festival in 1954. Later she complained that her and her husband's role in the festival were mostly downplayed with jazz history books and the press whereas Wein usually was considered the sole founder. The fact that the festival was held in Newport gave jazz "an aura of social distinction" that it never had before, explains Dan Morgenstern in the New York Times. Elaine Lorillard was a lifelong jazz fan and could be seen at concerts and in clubs up to just a few years ago. Obituaries: New York Times, The Providence Journal.

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