Radio entertainment and showbiz

Jazz FM to air unearthed interview tapes of jazz giants

A new three-part series, The Lost Tapes, featuring lost interviews with some of the greats of the jazz world are to be broadcast by Jazz FM thanks to a new partnership with the UK’s National Jazz Archive.

This follows the spring broadcast of a lost interview tape of jazz saxophonist Stan Getz by the station.

Hosted by Helen Mayhew, these three hour-long programmes will feature the highlights of many hours of interviews with long since departed legends – jazz pianist Oscar Peterson (d.2007), singer Sarah Vaughan (d.1990) and drummer Art Blakey (d.1990).

Recorded by journalist Les Tomkins who bequeathed the library of recordings to the National Jazz Archive when he himself died last year, these interviews have never been heard before and were used to help him write his jazz articles for, amongst others Jazz News, Crescendo and Melody Maker.

Jazz FM’s Content Director Nick Pitts says: “We were scratching our heads as to how to top our amazing Clive Myrie fronted ten-part series on the history of jazz and most recently the beautiful six-week long love letter by Sir Michael Parkinson to the music, and then this amazing opportunity comes along!

“The programme will just scratch the surface of these extensive interviews in amongst so many more in the NJA but I’m hoping that our audience of inquisitive jazz hungry lovers will find this as fascinating as I will.  I’m grateful to the National Jazz Archive for partnering with us on this landmark opportunity to shed some intimate light on these great names.”

‘The Lost Tapes…’ host Helen Mayhew added: “These interviews give us a chance to hear the voices of some of the greatest names in jazz, providing a unique insight into their own music and lives. Oscar Peterson, Art Blakey and Sarah Vaughan are all hugely influential and important figures in the music, and all have great stories to tell. “

Paul Kaufman, the Chair of Trustees at the National Jazz Archive says of the series and partnership: “The National Jazz Archive was bowled over to be gifted this treasure trove by Les Tomkins. We are delighted to have forged a partnership with Jazz FM, and for the opportunity this provides to share this amazing slice of jazz heritage with jazz lovers everywhere.”

The Lost Tapes… with Helen Mayhew, from Sunday 25 July 9:00-10:00pm:

25 July: Art Blakey

1 August: Oscar Peterson

8 August: Sarah Vaughan


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