Artscapes: Newport Beach Jazz Party Returns February 14 – 17

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Last year, Newport Beach Jazz Party founders Joe Rothman and John McClure announced they were bowing out of the Newport Beach Jazz Party after 18 successful years of bring the best in traditional jazz to Newport Beach.

Jazz fans need not worry—the Jazz Party returns to the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa February 14 – 17 and it’s bigger and better than ever thanks to Porchlight Hospitality, LLC, headed by Paul Lowden and Chris Lowden, who are producing the 2019 Newport Beach Jazz Party. Paul Lowden is a jazz fan and an accomplished jazz musician himself, while Chris Lowden is the founder of Stoney’s Rockin’ Country, Las Vegas’ ACM-nominated Nightclub of the Year.

“We are honored to continue this amazing tradition created 23 years ago by Joe Rothman & John McClure,” stated Chris Lowden.

“Jazz is a passion, you have to love it,” noted Paul Lowden. “Joe and John founded this event many years ago and built it into what it is, and we did not want to see it stop, so we took it over. It’s really going to be something special this year.”

Paul added that he has been attending the Jazz Party for many years, and thinks it’s one of the best jazz events in the country.

Jack Jones

The lineup for this year’s Jazz Party is indeed impressive, starting with Grammy winner Jack Jones, who turned 81 last month but is still going strong. One of the most renowned singers in show business, Jack performs around the world to sold-out audiences in venues ranging from jazz clubs to the London Palladium.

Jack’s recordings include “Wives and Lovers” (1964 Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance), “Lollipops and Roses” (1962, Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance), “The Impossible Dream,” “Call Me Irresponsible,” “Lady,” and “The Love Boat Theme.”

“Jack will be singing with a big band, and with his own trio in front of the band,” said Paul Lowden. “We’re excited about Jack, he’s legendary. What a career, unbelievable. Still sings incredibly well, hits the high notes. When he walks on that stage, he owns it.”

Arturo Sandoval

Jack Jones is one of the highlights of the Jazz Party’s opening night. Other noted Jazz names scheduled to perform include trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, pianist Shelly Berg, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist and three-time Grammy winner Tom Scott, Grammy-nominated vocalist Tierney Sutton, former Count Basie drummer Butch Miles, and many more.

Tierney Sutton

For those who have not yet attended a Jazz Party, the festival takes on a looser “party” atmosphere, with noted jazz musicians playing intimate jam-session-style sets. Each set is curated by Artistic Director Ken Peplowski and is a one-of-a-kind matching of players.

Most performers appear in multiple configurations, leading their own sets as well as playing on other leaders’ sets.

Shelley Berg

The event includes evening concerts, poolside sessions, champagne jazz brunches, and even some after-hours jam sessions.

“The key word is fun. We’ll have music, small groups, big bands, and vocalists throughout the four nights and three days of the festival,” said Peplowski.

For a complete list of performers and a detailed schedule, visit

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