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by Kathe Molloy for the Newport Opera House


To: Area Entertainment Editors


As many are finding out, the Newport Opera House Performance Center in Newport, NH has come back to life. They’ve just finished their Fall Performance Series with 21 varied events and are now kicking off their Winter/Spring Series.

The pride of Burlington, VT and leading member of the Unknown Blues Band, “Big” Joe Burrell will take the stage as Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon’s (J.O.S.A.) featured performer on Sunday, January 17. “Big” Joe is a traditional jazz saxophonist and singer and has been a regular featured guest of J.O.S.A. for the past six years. Having been a former member of B.B. King’s jazz and blues band in Detroit and the Count Basie Orchestra in New York, Big Joe has certainly paid his dues. He is an infectious entertainer who, like the late, great Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, has a remarkable, gravely voice and can work an audience up into a foot stompin’ frenzy as he weaves himself and his stories through the crowd with tunes from his musical history. Big Joe Burrell‘s gonna take you on a ride, don’t miss it.

J.O.S.A.‘s rhythm section, the Wightlights, features Bill Wightman on piano, John Hunter on bass, and Tim Gilmore on drums. Throughout each event we invite guest musicians from the audience to sit-in with the band. The result is most always a stupendous display of jazz improvisation and musicianship. Typically, noted jazz musicians from around New England, have been known to drop in, unannounced, to sit-in on the J.O.S.A. sessions.

The main floor of the Opera House is set with small cafe tables extending right up to the stage, very much in the style of the old jazz bistros or dinner theatres. Those attending can enjoy our full line of beverage refreshments along with excellent food catered by the Pines Restaurant featuring Larry Beswick’s famous baked ziti.

Tickets and reserved seating are available at the door or in advance by calling either NOHA at 603-863-0000 or Wightsteeple Productions at 603-763-0000. The Newport Opera House Performance Center is located at 20 Main St. in Newport, NH (the largest downtown building with the clock tower).

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