July 1978 saw Middlesbrough pull of an almighty musical coup when Ayresome Park hosted the three day Newport Jazz Festival.

Shaun Wilson



Topping the bill was the legendary First Lady of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson. Also playing in the stellar line-up were Buddy Rich and Dizzy Gillespie.

Bo Diddley was set to close the event on the Sunday night but travel complications meant he could not attend. The dulcet tones of George Melly in his role as compere was heard, Pernod was purchased from a bus near the Boys End, as Teesside danced to one of the greatest gathering of Jazz talent ever seen in Britain!