Bridging Festivals, Newport's "Bridgefest" Becomes Its own "Happening"

Leslie Lindeman, Jim Roehm & Janne Lembke Sahady

Talk about talent and energy! This year's Bridgefest grew to four days of non-stop events, related mostly to music and showcasing the wide variety of talent on the Island. It also lured the Creator of Style, Michael Bush highlighting ( and signing) his fabulous book "King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson”, and displaying some of the King of Pop's incredible costumes, designed by him and his partner. Yes, the jeweled glove was here in Newport at St. Michael's Country Day School, where Mr. Bush spoke to a fascinated audience.


Oh, and there was the Lifetime Achievement Award given to the Newport Jazz Festival founder ( and jazz pianist) George Wein, now 88, a fabulous opening night party at the Sanford-Covell Villa Marina, a panel discussion on jazz at Rough Point with Mr. Wein and our own Jim Gillis, (followed, of course, by live jazz), a performance by the James Montgomery Band, a reception at Capitol Realty for Mr. Bush, a performance by Dick Lupino at Greenvale Vineyard, a Miles Davis tribute…we could go on. Yes, Newport Seen did manage to catch a few hours of sleep before the Newport Jazz Festival began.


Jessica Marfeo, MIss Rhode Island with John Hirschboek

The Newport Arts & Cultural Alliance has created an important festival all its own, and special thanks are owed to John Hirschboek, Cris Offenberg and Suzi Conklin Nance for a diverse, engaging few days of events. Seen at the opening night party were Sanford-Covell Marina owner Anne Cuvelier,  Miss Rhode Island Jessica Marfeo, Jim Roehm, Dominique Alfandre, Lynne Tungett and Kirby Varacalli, Harle Tinney, Charles Young, Federico Santi,  and others.  The band "Panoramic View" played in front of ......the panoramic view!


At Rough Point the next evening, musicians John Baboian, Alan Bernstein and Chase Ceglie performed for the overflow crowd there for the panel discussion (there was tent outside with the event simultaneously  televised) Seen were Jae and John French, Kathy Staab, and many more.


Anne Cuvelier with Christopher Rondina


The fabulous John Monillos Quintet  gave a late evening Miles Davis tribute featuring Doug Woolverton at The Fifth Element, and the Michael Bush slide and "show and tell" talk filled the room. As headmaster Whitney Slade filmed the event on a laptop, Monique and Cammi Burgess, Peggy Mulholland, John Sawicki, and others listened intently, asked questions, were awed by the magnificent jackets and shoes, and purchased the book.  Then there was newportFILM showing, the Navy Band, the Newport Art Museum.......


What a musical midweek!




For further information on Bridgefest, go to
For information on "Dressing the King of Pop", go to




Delicious hors d'oeuvres served in the dining room


Trudy Coxe and Lynne Ceglie


"Panoramic View" played on the lawn



Guests on the lawn


Lynne Tungett & Cris Cobaugh


Listening to music by the pool


Donna Cote, Eric Abrahamson & Michelle Cruz


Eric Offenberg, Suzi Conklin Nance & author/designer Michael Bush


Harle Tinney & Lynne Tungett


View from the Sanford-Covell Villa porch


Rico Santi with Tamara Kern, Barbara Bessette & Hans Scholl


Charles Young


The Arts Alliance raffle table


Thomas Palmer & Dominique Alfandre


Charlie Burns  & Paul Miller at Fifth Element tribute to Miles Davis


Fifth Element on Broadway


Michael Jackson book on display at Capitol Realty reception


Richard Carbotti, Rod O'Hanley, Michael Bush & Richard Crisson


George Wein & Jim Gillis in jazz panel at Rough Point


Rough Point was crowded


Overflow crowd watched the discussion on TV


Rough Point


Watching in the foyer of Rough Point


Jae and John French



Author Michael Bush at St. Michael's


Describing designing stage clothing for Michael Jackson --

with Suzi Conklin Nance


An iconic jacket, fit for a king -- the King of Pop


Jacket modeled after European royal garb


An incredible glove, with buckles


Remembering Michael Jackson


St Michaels's Headmaster Whitney Slade recording the



Michael Jackson's iconic glove at St. Michael's


An assortment of Michael Jackson's favorite jackets


The shoes with the red heel, a sign of royalty


Fabulous sequined jacket


Photo of Michael Jackson escorting Madonna to an awards show

wearing the jacket


Michael Bush makes a point about construction of jackets


John Sawicki, Monique Burgess, Michael Bush & Cammi Burgess


John Sawicki, the author, and Peggy Mulholland with her

autographed book


Whitney Slade & Suzi Conklin Nance


Playing at Rough Point, John Baboian, Allen Bernstein &

Chase Ceglie


Michael Bush at The Elms


Signing books at the Redwood Library


Michael Bush, Newport Seen's Linda Phillips, and musician

James Montgomery at the Capitol Realty reception


Mr. Bush with admirers


Speaking with a group of students













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