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Blakeview: George Wein

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With the 47th edition of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival opening later this week, we take time to honor the man who started it all — George Wein. A jazz impresario in every sense of the word, Wein founded the Newport jazz and folk festivals in Rhode Island in the 1950s. He was approached about starting a similar music festival here, a process that took nearly a decade. To help produce the inaugural effort at Congo Square and other venues, Wein brought on Tulane University students Allison Miner and Quint Davis. Performers that first year included Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, the Zion Harmonizers and Mahalia Jackson. Before long, Wein's festival, which moved to the Fair Grounds in 1972, grew into a major international music and cultural event.

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