Organizers of a new jazz series are looking "straight-ahead" to a successful summer.
The Summer Jazz at Newport series opens Wednesday at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa and will continue each week throughout the summer with accessible, classic jazz standards by top-tier performers.
The event replaces the popular West Coast Jazz Party, which ran for 15 years during Labor Day Weekend in Irvine.
"We've kind of expanded to eight weeks from what was once a one-weekend event," event co-producer John McClure said.
McClure said Newport Beach is starting to become as much a hotspot for live jazz as Newport, R.I., was in its heyday. The famed Newport Jazz Festival has hosted such luminaries as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington.
Newport Beach offers events to appeal to fans of all aspects of the wide-reaching (and often difficult-to-delineate) jazz genre. McClure said his new festival will be a complement to another famous Newport Beach summer event.