Jazz in Wales

News about gigs, festivals, famous names, new artists and more compiled by DJ Andy Roberts in Cardiff, Wales. Send your updates to andy @ jazzinwales.co.uk

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Billy Cobham and Asere 2008 tour

Legendary jazz drummer Billy Cobham returns to the UK for another tour with the Cuban band Asere in October 2008.

The tour includes the following dates in Wales:

October 2 - Galeri, Caernarfon

October 4 - St Davids Hall, Cardiff

October 5 - Theatre Brycheiniog, Brecon

October 6 - Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan

October 12 - Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea

Cobham, who was born in Panama, first joined forces with Asere at the WOMAD Festival in 2002 - read my review of their 2006 tour of Wales.

This latest tour follows the release of their first album together, De Cuba y De Panama.

See www.myspace.com/billycobhamandasere for full tour details.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Brecon Jazz preview on the radio

I'm delighted to confirm that I'll be presenting a Brecon Jazz festival preview show on the south Wales community radio station GTFM from 8 till 9pm on Sunday 3 August.

I'll be playing tracks from many of the top names, rising stars and local heroes performing at the event which takes place the following weekend, August 7 to 10.

GTFM can be heard on 107.9 FM across the south Wales valleys, reaching as far as Cardiff, and live online at www.gtfm.co.uk

I'd like to thank Terry Mann and the team at GTFM for giving me this opportunity at short notice as my regular station Radio Cardiff is currently off the air.

See www.breconjazz.co.uk for details of the festival.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Radio Cardiff goes off air

Community station Radio Cardiff - home of the Jazz Connection - has gone off air due to funding issues.

The multicultural station, which launched in October 2007, ran out of public funding from the Communities First scheme and had yet to re-apply for more cash.

The one hundred beneficiaries and volunteers are sad that the station has gone off air but it's hoped the hiatus will only be temporary.

In the meantime, the FM frequency is offering an automated music loop - for further details read the South Wales Echo and BBC News articles about efforts to save the station.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jed and Jazz on Radio Wales

Jed Williams

BBC Radio Wales will mark this year's Brecon Jazz Festival with a tribute programme to one of its founders, the late Jed Williams.

Jed and Jazz features performances from stars including Wayne Krantz, John Etheridge and Tina May, recorded at last year's Jazz 4 Jed tribute concerts in Cardiff.

Jed, who also founded the Jazz UK magazine and the Welsh Jazz Society as well as programming Brecon Jazz, died suddenly in November 2003 at the age of 51.

The programme goes out at 6.30pm on Friday 8 August but will be available to hear online any time over the following seven days at bbc.co.uk/radiowales via the Listen Again links.

Later that evening at 9.30pm you can hear the Radio Wales Arts Show's tribute to the late and legendary George Melly, another founder of the Brecon Jazz Festival.

This programme will also be available online for the following seven days at bbc.co.uk/radiowales.

Click here to read my tribute to Jed published shortly after his death.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Robert Taylor RIP

Cardiff saxophonist Robert Taylor has died after a long illness.

He was well known around the city for gigs with the band Time Out back in the eighties and nineties, and later as a duo performing with John Lenney Jr on keyboards.

Speaking on Radio Cardiff 98.7 FM, John paid tribute to his friend saying Robert was one of the finest musicians in Wales.

Personally speaking, Robert was my first saxophone teacher at an evening class in Radyr back in the early 1990s.

I'm sure I disappointed him with my inability/reluctance to keep practising my scales, but his was a great example of someone who kept honing his technique, not for technique's sake, but to make the most of the instrument's lyrical qualities.

You can hear Robert play on a track by Marcus Davis aka Serious Nubian - check out Cutting Ties on the audio player at www.myspace.com/seriousnubian

If you have any memories of Robert Taylor, you're welcome to post them here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

HSBC Brecon Jazz Stroller programme

Empirical, Portico and the Blessing are among the cream of British jazz acts confirmed for the Stroller programme of this year's HSBC Brecon Jazz Festival from August 7 to 10.

Other special attractions include Gareth Williams with Pee Wee Ellis, the Three Tenors (Art Themen, Don Weller & Mornington Lockett), and the return of British Brazilian specialists Sirius B.

The Stroller programme also features many of the leading lights on the Welsh jazz scene, such as Paula Gardiner, the Jones O'Connor Group, the Keith Little Band and the Root Doctors.

New Stroller venues for this year include Christ College and Mount Street Junior School, along with regular venues such as the Bishop's Garden, the Guildhall, the Captain's Walk, the Watton Marquee, and the Theatr Brycheiniog Studio for acoustic performances.

See www.breconjazz.co.uk for further details including ticket availability.

Thursdays over for Blues Dragon

The long-running Blues Dragon sessions on Thursday nights in Cardiff are to cease on July 17.

Organisers say they can no longer afford to stage weekly sessions at the Gower in Cathays, which will end with a gig by Jack the Biscuit.

However, the Friday night Blues Dragon sessions at Cafe Jazz will continue on a weekly basis, and the club is planning to promote bigger names one Saturday a month at the Gower.

They're also considering holding a jam/open night one Thursday a month if there's enough interest.

See www.bluesdragon.org.uk for more about their activities.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jazz Connection playlist 7 July 2008

Here's what I played on the Jazz Connection on Monday 7 July 2008 on Radio Cardiff.

Maceo Parker/WDR Big Band - Hallelujah I Love Her So

Arun Ghosh - Aurora
Corinne Bailey Rae - Sexy Back
Gwilym Simcock - A Typical Affair
Jack McDuff - Butter For You Popcorn
Alan Barnes - Baghdad Blues
Finn Peters - The Nightingale
Jim Barber Trio - Birks Works
Andy Bey - Brother Can You Spare a Dime
Tommaso Starace - Keep Moving Please!

Hear the show right now at www.jazz-connection.co.uk

The next Jazz Connection is in two weeks time on Monday 21 July at 8pm - don't forget you can hear my Middle Eastern bellydance show A Night in Tunisia next Monday 14 July.

Get in touch if you've got any gig news or CDs for airplay on either show.