The finale of the 2018 Newport Folk Festival, A Change is Gonna Come, was a powerful and challenging take on how American music has framed the meaning of civil rights. Masterfully produced by Jon Batiste, the set brought together gospel, folk music, soul, and even the national anthem in captivating and startling arrangements (the Dap-Kings on "This Land is Your Land," to take just one example). Mavis Staples was the inevitable and perfect person to close out the set, designed as a reflection on the 50th anniversary of 1968's upheavals. "Freedom Highway" saw Staples leading the entire cast and crowd in a celebration and a call to keep at it.
- Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste "Cornbread Cake"
- Jon Batiste "Star Spangled Banner"
- Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste, "The Land Is Your Land"
- Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste, "Tell The Truth"
- Valerie June, Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free"
- Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr. and Jon Batiste "Ohio"
- Valerie June, Ben Jaffe, Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste "Let Nobody Turn Me Around"
- Preservation Hall, Leon Bridges, Chris Thile, Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste "I'll Fly Away"
- Chris Thile and Jon Batiste "My Oh My"
- Brandi Carlile, Maggie Rogers and Jon Batiste "The Times They Are A-Changin'"
- Rachael Price, Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste "A Change Is Gonna Come"
- Bermuda Triangle, Mavis Staples, Dap-Kings and Jon Batiste "Jesus On The Mainline"
- Mavis Staples, Dap-Kings and ensemble "Freedom Highway"