Desert Island Jazz
George Wein (2010)
Boston-born George Wein personifies the Italian word impresario: he has a knack for organizing Big Things. He's had some really big ones, too, beginning with his founding of the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, the world's first outdoor festival exclusively for jazz.

Before that, George had begun as a piano player, then opened the Storyville club in Boston in 1950, and established the record label of the same name. Later he started more events, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles, and the Newport Folk Festival. In the 1960s he formed Festival Productions, dedicated to promoting large-scale jazz events. It was George who pioneered the idea of corporate sponsorship in order to get more monies behind the music.

Among the countless honors George has received over his six-decade-long career are those at the White House by not just one but two presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. In 2005 he was named an NEA Jazz Master. And his autobiography is one of the best on jazz, "Myself Among Others: A Life in Music".

60 years later, George is still a pretty good piano player, and a sweet singer, too (he's done both for Luciano Pavarotti).
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Louis Armstrong The Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, Vol. 2 Potato Head Blues Columbia
# 2 Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Vol. 6 Night and Day Pablo
# 3 Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Vol. 4 Mean to Me Pablo
# 4 Charlie Parker Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes Just Friends Verve
# 5 Billie Holiday The Quintessential Billie Holiday, Vol. 3 This Year's Kisses Columbia
# 6 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra At Newport Jeep's Blues Columbia
# 7 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra At Newport Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue Columbia
# 8 Giacomo Puccini La Bohème, Luciano Pavarotti et al. Che Gelida Manina Decca
# 9 The Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars European Tour These Foolish Things Concord
# 10 The Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars European Tour Through for the Night Concord
Book "A library of the Great Books: ... Dante, ... Milton, ... Shakespeare, ... [James] Baldwin"
Luxury Item Great Burgundies from the 60s and 70s
Castaways by date
Paul Anastasio
25 Sep
Macy Blackman
19 Jun
George Cole
21 Aug
Alex Condé
06 Mar
Kit Eakle
04 Sep
Phillip Greenlief
13 Feb
Noah Griffin
06 Nov
Tammy Hall
27 Feb
Alan Hall
22 May
Christian Howes
27 Mar
Kymberly Jackson
03 Apr
Julie Kelly
20 Feb
Maya Kronfeld and Valerie Troutt
29 May
Jennifer Lee
17 Apr
Steven Lugerner
24 Jul
Steve McQuarry
05 Jun
Jacqui Naylor
13 Nov
Dave Newhouse
14 Aug
Zack Rogow
24 Apr
Holli Ross
17 Jul
Ellen Seeling
02 Oct
Richard Seidel
09 Oct
Edward Simon
31 Jul
Tessa Souter
23 Oct
Steve Turré
07 Aug
Donna Viscuso
20 Nov
Patrick Wolff
16 Jan