Relive the Newport Jazz Festival with a three-part NPR special

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet at a previous Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island (photo by Cheryl Landes)

The 2020 Newport Jazz Festival didn’t happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, concerts and other highlights from past festivals were streamed and broadcast from websites and radio stations.

During that time, National Public Radio (NPR) hosted three-part series called Jazz Night in America: A Newport Jazz Festival Special. The series covers performances from past Newport Jazz Festivals from 1955 through 2018.

Part 1: The Golden Age (56 minutes) features music from the mid- to late 1950s, such as Clifford Brown and the Max Roach Quintet, Dave Brubeck Quartet, and Horace Silver Quintet.

Part 2: The Stars Shine (57 minutes) features top performers from the 1960s and 1970s: Ray Charles (1960), the Cannonball Adderley Quintet (1960), Sarah Vaughan (1964), Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (1968), and Louis Armstrong’s 1970 birthday celebration.

Part 3: The Modern All Stars (58 minutes) features the Herbie Hancock Trio (1988), The Jazz Futures (1991), the Ray Hargrove Quintet (2001), and Artemis (2018).

All three parts include music from the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival Band.

The 2021 Newport Jazz Festival is scheduled July 30-August 1 at Fort Adams State Park, 90 Fort Adams Drive, in Newport, Rhode Island. For more information, visit

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