BBC Music Jazz returns for 2016

Jazz FM and BBC Radio reprise their collaborative digital pop-up station for special broadcasts during the 2016 EFG London Jazz Festival

BBC Music Jazz, the digital pop-up radio station that appeared for the first time during the 2015 EFG London Jazz Festival, returns in collaboration with Jazz FM for 96 hours of broadcasting from 10-14 November 2016.

The station will broadcast almost 24 hours a day over five days. Presenters include comedian Stewart Lee, vocalists Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula and Will Young and BBC radio presenters Cerys Matthews, Moira Stuart, Jamie Cullum, Soweto Kinch, Jools Holland, Craig Charles and Claire Martin (pictured right), amongst others.

Live concerts from the London Jazz Festival in partnership with BBC Radio 3 will be simulcast. Jazz FM promises access to its "flagship programmes, rare archive recordings and specially commissioned new content". A countdown of the so-called "Top 50 jazz albums of all time" will be presented by Radio 3’s Geoffrey Smith and Jazz FM’s Helen Mayhew.

Last year's inaugural appearance of the station ran for 41 hours over four days. This year’s runs longer, with 96 hours of continuous content. BBC contributions include over 25 hours of jazz documentary programming from the BBC archive, featuring players such as Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong. A BBC Radio Scotland series, Godfathers Of Jazz, explores the work of Lalo Schifrin, Herbie Hancock and Tony Bennett. Jools Holland presents Leader Of The Band: The Chris Barber Story, a two-part documentary about the trombonist, bassist and bandleader. Jamie Cullum presents several programmes of interview and performance highlights from his Radio 2 programme, including a special BBC Music Introducing show.

All four of Radio 3’s jazz strands feature on the pop-up schedule, with Soweto Kinch presenting Jazz Now live from Pizza Express, and special editions of Jazz Line-up, Jazz Record Requests and Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz. Ian McMillan, host of Radio 3’s poetry and spoken word programme The Verb, presents The Jazzverb and Tom Service presents a special jazz edition of The Listening Service.

Highlights of Jazz FM’s programming include evenings celebrating Quincy Jones and Cleo Laine. David Bowie Jazz Genie looks at the influence of Bowie on generations of jazz musicians and at the influence jazz had over Bowie’s music. Jazz FM also explores the differences between the British and New York jazz scenes with editions of two regular programmes; TransAtlantic Jazz with Marcus Miller (pictured right by Selcuk Polat) and True Brit with Helen Mayhew. Former Radio 3 presenter Jez Nelson – who rejoined the commercial station in the spring of this year – returns to the BBC with a special edition of his Jazz FM show Somethin’ Else.

More information and full schedule will be announced in due course.

Bruce Lindsay

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