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29 October 2014

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You are in: Tees > BBC Tees > Presenter profiles > Newport Jazz Festival

Newport Jazz Festival.

Newport Jazz Festival.

Newport Jazz Festival

Ayresome Park has played host to some amazing football matches with legendary stars, but in 1978 it also pulled in some of the biggest names in music.

BBC Tees' John Foster has been asking for memories of a wonderful weekend when the biggest names ever came to Teesside.

Ella Fitzgerald headlined the festival along with Oscar Peterson, Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie.

Legendary Teesside musician Ray Dales along with Peter Papparill played at the event and came to BBC Tees to share some memories and show some of the memorabilia from the event.

last updated: 11/09/07

Have Your Say

If you have any memories of the Newport Jazz Festival, Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough....get in touch at

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Peter Sadler
I came to Teesside in 1976 - that hot summer that seemed to go on and on. I was a rookie chef at a fairly new hotel. We played host to many of the football teams playing Middlesborough and many of the pop stars visiting the area. It was normal for one of we chefs to wait up and keep the kitchens open for when the concert was over and they wanted to eat, but my most vivid memory was the night I cooked for Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson. They came back to the hotel on a high and knew how to enjoy themselves. They were quite specific about their food. They enjoyed their main courses and Ella Fitzgerald was very happy with the Black Forest Gateau, but Dizzie Gillespie wanted fresh fruit. I prepared a pineapple and took it in to them on a silver platter, but they then asked me for a raspberry sauce to go with it.We had no raspberries in the kitchen but I made a concoction from jam, yoghurt and ice cream topping sauce and they loved it! They invited me to join them in the restaurant where around the piano there was an impromptu jamming session, my own private concert and the most magical experience of my young life. More than 30 years later it still seems like yesterday.

Alan Fearnley
Hi John, Heard you asking about Tony who sold records round the pubs. It is Tony Day. I saw him a couple of days ago in Linthorpe village so he`s still around. His brother is Billy Day, the famous Boro winger. Cheers Alan.

Geoffrey Darling
I now regret not seeing ionel Hampton on the Friday as I was not sure if the music suited me - it does now!!Cannot remember if it was the Saturday or Sunday when 2 band leaders were stuck in France because of an Air Traffic Controllers Strike so there was a jam session where 2 bands combined for the two sessions and it was wonderful.All the artists were great it was a real coup for the organisers to attract all the bands/singers/musicians.Ella Fitzgerald was fantastic on the Sunday, so much so I left my umbrella!!I will always remember the event and it widened my interest in jazz.

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