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Meet The Jazz Audience: Mark Heinricher

We're continuing our Meet The Jazz Audience series at the CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival this weekend, where Blogger Supreme Lara Pellegrinelli wandered the grounds, interviewing members of the crowd. For more coverage of the festival, including full concert downloads, visit NPR.org/newportjazz. --Ed.


Mark Heinricher, 60, with wife Lee
Town: Hanson, Mass

You are wearing a cut-off tuxedo with dock shoes to the Newport jazz festival. That's quite a fashion statement. It's been a tradition for almost 30 years now. I'm an official Newport representative. I am Tuxedo Man.

So what inspired this outfit? The first time I brought a bunch of people with me here on the bed of my pickup truck. Since I was driving a bunch of people, I was deemed the chauffeur.

So it didn't start as a fashion statement -- it was a uniform! Does that mean you're still the driver? I still drive here but I'm not carrying a bunch of people anymore. The one year I didn't wear my tuxedo, everyone complained.

Who is everybody? Let's see -- there's Dan, who's Dancing Man. There's Ponytail Man from Philadelphia. There used to be a gentleman who work a Viking helmet with horns. There are a crew of us who have been coming since 1980.

Then I'll have to keep my eye out for your fellow cast of characters. Yeah, but they really wanted to stand out, they'd be wearing bow-ties.

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