“Christian McBride made his first appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1991, as the bassist in Jazz Futures, a youthful hard-bop wrecking crew. He was 19 then and has returned to the Newport stage many times since. Now, in a significant move, he is poised to become the festival’s new artistic director, taking the reins from the impresario George Wein.
The appointment, to be announced on Thursday by the nonprofit Newport Festivals Foundation, signals a succession plan both for Mr. Wein, 90, and for the landmark event he founded in 1954. This year’s festival lineup has been finalized, so the new leadership’s influence will be felt in 2017. Danny Melnick, a longtime veteran of Mr. Wein’s organization, has been promoted from associate producer to producer of the festival and will work alongside Mr. McBride.“