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Taste of Newport Festival Features Calypso, Jazz on the Menu Along With Food of 40 Restaurants

September 15, 1989|RICK VANDERKNYFF | Times Staff Writer

Calypso, jazz, surf instrumentals and pop are on tap for diners at the first Taste of Newport food festival opening today at Newport Center Fashion Island.

Festival-goers can sample the wares of 40 Newport Beach restaurants while listening to the music, offered continuously during the three-day event to be held in a fenced area of the parking lot next to Atrium Court at Newport Center and Santa Rosa drives.

The event is sponsored by Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce as part of 'Newport SeaFest,' a 10-day offering of surfing contests, art shows, boat parades and other activities that runs through Sept. 24. Today's Taste of Newport music lineup features Billy Vera & the Beaters. Vera is the Los Angeles popster who scored a hit in 1986 with the song "At This Moment" after it was featured on the television show "Family Ties." Singer Jeri Lynne, a regular at the Hop in Fountain Valley, will also perform.

The Ventures, the instrumental guitar combo that made its first splash in 1960 with "Walk Don't Run," will headline on Saturday, while drummer and jazz fusion pioneer Stix Hooper, a founding member of the Crusaders, heads the offerings Sunday.

Other jazz performers scheduled include Brian Bromberg, Eric Marienthal and Bulgarian pianist Milcho Leviev. Appearing twice Saturday will be the Trinidad and Tobago Showboat, featuring steel drum players, dancers and singers from the Caribbean republic. Also on Saturday, Tony Rossini will perform a tribute to Neil Diamond.

Food samples and beverages can be purchased with scrip sold in $10 booklets; most items range from $1 to $3.

Organizers hope to make Taste of Newport an annual event.

"A Taste of Newport" runs 5 to 9 p.m. today , 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Billy Vera will perform today at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m., Jeri Lynne at 4:45 and 7 p.m. On Saturday: The Trinidad and Tobago Showboat performs at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Brian Bromberg at 12:15 and 5:15 p.m., Tony Rossini at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m., the Ventures at 2:45 and 7:45 p.m. On Sunday: Eric Marienthal at 11 and 2:45 p.m., Milcho Leviev at 12:15 and 4 p.m., Stix Hooper at 1:30 and 5:15 p.m. Admission: $2 per day. Information: (714) 644-8211.

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