Friday, 22 October 2010

Jazz on the Airwaves

Yesterday I attended the relaunch party and one year anniversary of UK Jazz Radio.  It was so wonderful to see the support for what is sadly one of the few media outlets for jazz in this country.  There was great music from Digby Fairweather and his band and guest spots included appearances from the excellent Geoff Eales, the fabulous Tina May and a wonderful singer I'd not heard before called Val Wiseman.

BBC Radio does a fairly good job but obviously they need to cater to all tastes and can't be expected to play jazz 24/7.  Here's a useful page where you can find a summary of the jazz on BBC Radio. Looking through this list though we can see that they've also included blues in this list and also that a lot of the programmes are general music programmes that aren't averse to adding jazz tracks to the playlist rather than playing jazz exclusively. 

Then there's Jazz FM...  After the demise of theJazz - a new station that only lasted 2 years - I was so excited to hear in 2008 that Jazz FM was back on the airwaves after its ambush and takeover by Smooth FM.  Sadly, however, it's no longer available on FM (regular radio) and can only be heard online or on DAB (digital radio) in restricted areas.  On a positive note though, apparently it's available using iPhone or Google android apps too. 

So with the lack of dedicated jazz on the radio,  I'm really hoping that all lovers of jazz will get behind and give massive support to UK Jazz Radio - a new internet radio station - that devotes itself completely to jazz and has already attracted 600,000 listeners worldwide.  Founder and one-man operator Brian Soundy has worked tirelessly to get the station up and running and the presenters have given their time to promote and support jazz in the UK.  Please listen to the excellent programmes and most of all SPREAD THE WORD!

(I have to declare an interest here...  I'm one of 9 new presenters to the station and will be starting my "Juliet Kelly's Vocal Zone" programme soon to highlight the wealth of vocal talent on the current jazz scene.  It goes without saying that we are all indebted to the icons of the past like Ella, Sarah, Nina and Bille but I'm hoping to introduce listeners to singers who are currently continuing the tradition and/or pushing the boundaries to contribute to the vibrant and evolving jazz scene today.  I'll post details of the first programme soon.)

In other news...  I've been a bit slack recently with working on the tour but during the last week I've:
  • Worked on the press release - almost finished.
  • Confirmed all dates with promoters (apart from one. this late stage it's doubtful that I'll be able to replace it as I did with the other two.)
  • Previewed the material at the Pizza Express.  Just a few rough edges that need to be sorted before we take it on tour.  On the whole though I'm very pleased!
Next week I'll be:
  • Making sure that I've sent all necessary information to each promoter/venue for brochures/websites/programmes.
  • Researching contacts for local newspapers and radio stations for the areas I'll be visiting.
I'll also be recording my first radio show and working on another couple of new projects.  More news soon.

If I've missed any jazz radio programmes on other independent stations please feel free to post them below.  It would be great to have a comprehensive list of all the jazz radio shows in the UK.

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