This autumn will see extensive coverage of the EGM London Jazz festival on the BBC. Taking place from the 15 to 24 November, the festival brings musicians from all over the world to the UK capital, comprising hundreds of gigs across the city.
The grand opening gala concert, Jazz Voice, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3. It promises to be a spectacular showcase of some of the biggest names in vocal jazz with the EFG London Jazz Festival Orchestra providing an excellent setting for a range of singers. The line up is set to include the multiple Grammy Award Winning artist Cécile McLorin Salvant and Jazz FM’s Vocalist of the Year, Cherise Adams-Burnett, amongst others.
There will be further coverage of the festival on BBC Radio 2 on The Jazz Show with Jamie Cullum. Drawing upon the eclectic mix of performers at the festival, he will invite a range of guests to perform live on the programme. It has also been confirmed that the final of BBC Young Jazz Musician on BBC Four is to be held at the festival in 2020.
Alongside this, there will be a new programme of collaboration between BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM with content shared between the two platforms. This will involve a six-hour overnight jazz takeover on BBC Radio 3, broadcasting the best jazz concerts from around Europe as well as sessions from BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and the London Jazz Festival. Content will be available on demand on BBC Sounds in a dedicated ‘jazz collection’.
As part of the BBC’s dedication to showcasing the outer fringes of jazz, the composer and vibraphone player, Corey Mwamba, will be presenting Freeness, a new programme on BBC Radio 3 which will showcase the newest developments in improvised music in all its forms. It will air on Saturday nights from 2 November.
The show J to Z on Radio 3 offers an ideal starting point for those who want to find out more about jazz, featuring a range of new and old tracks alongside specially recorded music. New for this year, there will be a two-hour long J to Z event at the Royal Institute of British Architects, hosted by Jumoké Fashola.
Also aimed at those new to the genre, there will be a new jazz fix programme on Radio 3, presented by Tina Edwards. the show will be presented in a similar format to Radio 3’s Classical Fix, where Clemmie Burton-Hill mixes classical playlists for music-loving guests.
Finally, there are several high-profile TV documentaries scheduled to run on BBC Two and Four, including a new feature documentary on Miles Davis by Stanley Nelson. A highly influential composer, trumpeter and bandleader, Davis is regarded as one of the greatest pioneers in jazz. The documentary will cover key milestones and artistic developments in Davis’ five-decade career, including unseen archive and contributions from greats including Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Wayne Shorter amongst others.
In a new documentary on BBC 4, Sophie Huber will be chronicling the story of Blue Note Records, one of jazz’s most influential record companies. The documentary will include first-hand accounts from musicians associated with the label. There will be a focus on the continued relevance of Blue Note records today as shown by Huber’s focus on hip-hop and its practice of sampling old records for new beats.
Further to this, a documentary on the jazz singer, Billie Holiday has been commissioned for next year.