The Stars Shine: A Newport Jazz Festival Special Hear historic music from the Newport Jazz Festival, hand-picked by Christian McBride. Tune in to rare sets from Ray Charles, Cannonball Adderley, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.

The Stars Shine: A Newport Jazz Festival Special

The Stars Shine: A Newport Jazz Festival Special

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Ray Charles performs at The Newport Jazz Festival in 1968. /Newport Festivals Foundation hide caption

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/Newport Festivals Foundation

Ray Charles performs at The Newport Jazz Festival in 1968.

/Newport Festivals Foundation

The Newport Jazz Festival was in full, glorious stride during the 1960s, featuring top-shelf talent not only from jazz but also the realms of soul, rock and more. That's the backdrop for The Stars Shine, episode two of our three-part Newport special.

We'll hear festive sounds from both Ray Charles and saxophonist Cannonball Adderley in 1960; peerless jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in 1964; the incomparable Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1968; and Pops himself, Louis Armstrong, during a special birthday tribute in 1970.

For all of us at Jazz Night in America, the Newport Jazz Festival is both hallowed ground and a cherished hang. Our host, Christian McBride, is the festival's artistic director. (Call that a disclosure, if you like; we think of it as a heavy asset.) So this summer, in the absence of a physical gathering, we've set out to lovingly recreate the festival experience, Jazz Night-style. We hope you enjoy.


Ray Charles, piano and vocals; Hank Crawford, alto saxophone; David "Fathead" Newman, tenor saxophone; Leroy "Hog" Cooper, baritone saxophone; John Hunt, trumpet; Marcus Belgrave, trumpet; Edgar Willis, bass; Teagle Fleming, drums; with The Raelettes: Mary Ann Fisher; Darlene McRae; Margie Hendrix, vocals.

Cannonball Adderley Quintet: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, alto saxophone; Nat Adderley, cornet; Barry Harris, piano; Sam Jones, bass; Louis Hayes; drums.

Sarah Vaughan, vocals; Bob James, piano; Larry Rockwell, bass; Omar Clay, drums.

Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: Duke Ellington, piano and composer; Johnny Hodges, alto saxophone; Harold Ashby, tenor saxophone and clarinet; Russell Procope, clarinet; Paul Gonsalves, tenor saxophone; Harry Carney, baritone saxophone; Cootie Williams, trumpet; Cat Anderson, trumpet; Mercer Ellington, trumpet; Herbie Jones, trumpet; Laurence Brown, trombone; George "Buster" Cooper, trombone; Chuck Connors, trombone; Jimmy Cleveland, trombone; Money Johnson, trombone; Jeff Castleman, bass; Dick Wilson, drums; Rufus Jones, drums.

Louis Armstrong, vocals; Bobby Hackett, trumpet; Tyree Glenn, trombone; Dave McKenna, piano; Jack Lesberg, bass; Oliver Jackson, drums.

Set List

  • "Indiana" (Newport House Band)
  • "What'd I Say" (Ray Charles)
  • "Work Song" (Cannonball Adderley Quintet)
  • "Stay On It" (Cannonball Adderley Quintet)
  • "Fly Me To The Moon" (Sarah Vaughan)
  • "Like Someone In Love" (Sarah Vaughan)
  • "Misty" (Sarah Vaughan)
  • "Sophisticated Lady" (Duke Ellington)
  • "The Biggest and Busiest Intersection" (Duke Ellington)
  • "Satin Doll" (Duke Ellington)
  • "Pennies From Heaven" (Louis Armstrong)
  • "Blueberry Hill" (Louis Armstrong)


Special thanks to Jay Sweet, Charles Raggio, Billy Glassner, Christopher "Caps" Capotosto, and George Wein from the Newport Festivals Foundation.

Producers: Trevor Smith, Sarah Geledi, Nate Chinen, Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.