- Associated Press - Thursday, August 5, 2010

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) - Bill Calhoun is a fixture at the Newport Jazz Festival, even if most audience members have no idea who he is.

Calhoun is marking his 25th anniversary this weekend as the festival’s piano tuner.

Calhoun jumps on stage between each act to make sure the piano is perfectly in tune. Humid weather and hard-playing pianos can easily knock the pitch out of whack.

He largely works behind the scenes, though his job has brought him in contact with luminaries including Chick Corea, Dr. John and Herbie Hancock.

Calhoun started at the festival in 1986 after studying piano technology at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

The jazz festival, which started in 1954, runs from Friday through Sunday. Performers this year include pianist Dave Brubeck and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

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