The ASCAP Foundation Partners With The Newport Jazz Festival

August 1, 2018

Herb Alpert Award Recipient Estar Cohen to Perform at Esteemed Festival’s Storyville Stage


New York, Aug. 1, 2018 -- The ASCAP Foundation, led by President Paul Williams, and Newport Festivals Foundation, led by Founder & Chairman George Wein, continue their joint effort to benefit emerging jazz talent.

The Festival, one of the world’s most respected showcases for jazz, will feature a performance by jazz vocalist/composer Estar Cohen, a recipient of the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. Cohen was selected by a renowned jury of jazz composers including ASCAP members Sylvie Courvoisier, Wycliffe Gordon and Sachal Vasandani. She will debut her collaboration with Grammy-nominated pianist and band member Fabian Almazan on Saturday, August 4th at 12:30 PM on the Festival’s Storyville Stage in Newport RI. Other members of Cohen’s ensemble include Dan Palmer on guitar, Patrick Booth on tenor sax, Ben Rolston on bass and Travis Aukerman on drums.

A vocalist, lyricist, composer and educator from Ypsilanti, MI, Cohen received the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award for her piece, “Endings,” from her second album, Live at Willis Sound. She has performed in New York, Chicago and throughout the midwest alongside renowned musicians including Jon Hendricks, Peter Eldridge, Tad Weed, Pete Siers, David Bixler, Vinny Golia and Ken Filiano. Cohen graduated with a bachelor of music in jazz performance from the University of Toledo in 2015, where she studied voice, improvisation and composition with pianist Tad Weed, guitarist Jay Weik and “father of vocalese” Jon Hendricks, who has called her lyrics "beautiful." ASCAP recently published an interview with Cohen about her music here.

Williams said: “The ASCAP Foundation proudly continues this partnership with the Newport Festivals Foundation in our effort to promote the next generation of music creators. This opportunity offers a deserving young ASCAP jazz artist meaningful encouragement with a performance at such a prestigious festival.”

George Wein commented, “The partnership between Newport Festivals Foundation and The ASCAP Foundation is forging the path forward for young jazz composers. We are delighted to continue our association for the third year with the jury’s selection of Estar Cohen, who is both a wonderful performer and composer, and represents what this partnership is all about."

The Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards were established by The ASCAP Foundation in 2002 to encourage gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30. The program carries the name of the great trumpeter and ASCAP member Herb Alpert in recognition of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to support this unique program.

Guidelines are at

About The ASCAP Foundation
Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting and encouraging American music creators through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs, and providing grants to other 501(c)(3) organizations engaged in educational programs for aspiring songwriters and composers. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

About Newport Festivals Foundation
Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by George Wein in 2010 to build up and continue the legacies of the famed Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival. Under the auspices of the Foundation, the Newport Jazz Festival presents performers who respect and honor jazz music traditions, and at the same time reflect the changes in today's musical trends. The Foundation offers programs to educate young people about jazz music as presented at the annual festival. For more information, visit

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Cathy Halgas Nevins, ASCAP

cnevins (at)