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

Friday, August 22, 2008

BBC Radio 3 Pianothon at the WMC

BBC Radio 3 is inviting amateur pianists to attend Pianothons across the country and play in an informal and fun concert environment as part of its Play to the Nation season of amateur music-making.

Everyone is welcome. All ages, all standards (from Grade I upwards), all kinds of music from classical to jazz – they'll provide the pianos if you provide the talent.

Here's the list of venues:

Sun 5 October - Manchester - Bridgewater Hall
Sat 11 October - Cardiff - Wales Millennium Centre
Sat 11 October - Glasgow - Mitchell Library
Sat 18 October - Belfast - Victoria Square
Sat 18 October - London - BBC Television Centre

Soloists, duettists, family and friends all invited. Selections of the event will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 to showcase the range of talent across the UK.

Star pianists will also be giving free masterclasses at these events - Dave Stapleton and Noriko Ogawa have been signed up to do masterclasses in Cardiff.

See www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/classical/pianothon for details and to register.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jazz Connection playlist 21 August 2008

Here's what I played on the Jazz Connection on Thursday 21 August on the south Wales community radio station GTFM 107.9:

Five Corners Quintet ft Mark Murphy
- This Could Be The Start of Something Big
Ubizo - Dumisari
Tim Kliphuis - Night and Day
The Numbers Racket - Swinging Like a Wrecking Ball
The Klezmatics - I Ain't Afraid
Jones O'Connor Group - Johnny Two Hats
Blue Mitchell - Good Humour Man
Oscar Brown Jr - Worksong
Gareth Roberts Quintet - Going Nowhere Fast
Keith Little Band - St Thomas
Ray Charles - What'd I Say
Alan Barnes - The Cape Verdean Blues
Andy Davies Quartet - Nedved
Top Shelf Jazz - Nagasaki
Burum - Alawon
Stan Tracey Orchestra - 'Round Midnight (Live at Appleby)
Ann Duggan - When You Love Someone
The Amigos - Icek

The next show will be on Thursday 18 September from 7 till 9pm - you can hear GTFM on 107.9 FM in south Wales, or live online at www.gtfm.co.uk

Keep sending me your CDs and gig info for use on the air.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brecon Jazz highlights on TV

The Welsh TV channel S4C will broadcast two highlights programmes from HSBC Brecon Jazz 2008, as previously reported here.

Transmission dates and times are now confirmed as Saturday 23 August at 9.25pm and Saturday 30 August at 9.30pm.

The first programme will focus on Welsh artists such as Burum, Osian Roberts and Huw Warren, while the second features the bigger names like Maceo Parker, Joan Armatrading and Cerys Matthews.

S4C can be seen outside Wales on Sky Digital channel 134 and Freesat channel 120.

Both programmes can also be seen live online at www.s4c.co.uk and on demand for 35 days after the initial TV broadcast.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jazz and blues in Barry

The Castle Hotel in Barry will be hosting a new series of monthly gigs covering jazz, blues and roots music.

Chromatic harmonica player Julian Jackson will play the launch gig on Thursday 9 October backed by the Gary Phillips Trio.

The newly-formed Vale Blues, Jazz and Roots Society then plan to host gigs one Monday a month, with Bob Brozmann lined up for October 27.

For more details call Tony Cresci on 029 20 514 666.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Brecon Jazz 2008 underway

Brecon Jazz Anniversary All-Stars

The 2008 HSBC Brecon Jazz Festival got underway with revellers keen to enjoy themselves despite warnings of inclement weather.

After a couple of tasters including Jools Holland and a concert of Welsh bands filmed for TV on the Thursday night, festivities officially commenced on a pleasantly dry Friday night with the traditional parade by the Adamant Band from Cardiff.

Wales's First Minister Rhodri Morgan opened the festival with a recollection of how he became hooked on jazz while visiting New Orleans in his twenties, and was pleased to see that many young people today were getting the jazz bug too.

An all-star band including Joe Temperley, Scott Hamilton and Martin Taylor were assembled for an anniversary show at the Market Hall (pictured above) - organisers were keen to set the tone by having the concert start bang on time while ticket holders who thought they'd arrived in plenty of time were still waiting to get in.

My highlight for Friday night was the first ever appearance in Wales of legendary singer Mark Murphy. He didn't disappoint with a display of his stunning vocal range and interpretations of standards with a special focus on Cole Porter and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Aside from the official programme the Brecon Fringe offered an array of upfront jazz, funk and blues from local bands, notably Jonny Bruce, Martha Skilton, and sixteen-year-old blues sensation Virgil McMahon on guitar.

Virgil and the Accelerators is a true family affair, with father Hendry on lead vocals and bass, and Virgil's fourteen-year-old brother Gabriel on drums.

See more photos of Brecon Jazz 2008 on the BBC website.

Feel free to share your views of Brecon Jazz by clicking on the Comments button below.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Jazz Connection playlist 3 August 2008

Here's what I played on my Brecon Jazz Festival preview show on south Wales community station GTFM 107.9 on Sunday 3 August:

Jools Holland - Honeydripper Part 2
Empirical - Blessings
Gwilym Simcock Trio - Sneaky
Maceo Parker - To Be Or Not To Be
Mark Murphy - Stolen Moments
The Amigos - Caravan
Sirius B - Something New
Burum - Hiraeth Am Feirion
Neil Cowley Trio - His Nibs
Jones O'Connor Group - Dead Ahead
Alison Burns and Martin Taylor - He's a Tramp
Paula Gardiner Trio - In The Garden
Evan Christopher - Farewell Blues
Scott Hamilton - Blue Wales

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

Look out for a new series of the Jazz Connection going out one Thursday a month on GTFM starting on August 21 from 7 till 9pm.

Tune in on 107.9 FM in the south Wales valleys and Cardiff or listen online at www.gtfm.co.uk

Friday, August 01, 2008

Jazz Connection back on the air

The Jazz Connection has a new regular slot on the airwaves this month courtesy of south Wales community station GTFM 107.9 with a monthly showcase starting Thursday 21 August.

The new series follows a one-off Brecon Jazz Festival preview show which goes out on the station this Sunday 3 August at 8pm.

The regular monthly show will go out on Thursday nights 7 till 9pm on August 21, September 18, October 16 and November 27.

As with previous versions of the show, the Jazz Connection will feature classic tracks, hot new tunes, and the best jazz artists from south Wales or visiting the area.

There'll be a particular focus on Rhondda Cynon Taff where GTFM is based, so I'm especially keen to hear of any bands or venues in the county who want to be featured on the show.

I'm also looking forward to the two hour format which will give me more scope to play longer tracks and take a longer-term look ahead to events on the south Wales jazz scene.

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

At the time of writing, Radio Cardiff remains in automatic mode - I'll keep you posted on the return of live programmes when I know more myself.

Brecon Jazz on TV

Highlights of this year's Brecon Jazz Festival will be shown on the Welsh-language channel S4C, which has exclusive TV rights to the event.

There'll be three programmes, starting on Saturday 16 August with a documentary celebrating the festival's 25th anniversary.

That's followed on Saturday 23 August with highlights of the Welsh artists appearing at this year's event, including Burum, Osian Roberts and Huw Warren.

Then on Saturday 30 August there'll be a programme featuring some of this year's international headliners, including Maceo Parker, Joan Armatrading and Cerys Matthews.

The programmes are likely to be an hour long with transmission times to be confirmed - see www.s4c.co.uk for details and tune in on Sky Digital channel 134 if you're outside Wales.

Meanwhile BBC Wales will show an hour long package of highlights from its archive of Brecon Jazz coverage on the digital channel BBC 2W on Tuesday 5 August at 9pm (Sky Digital channel 991 outside Wales).