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2 October 2020

Jazz FM to celebrate diversity by launching “Voices”

Jazz FM has announced a new long-term initiative called Voices, acknowledging the diversity within their musical community, the cultures of their audience, and the roots of the music they play.  Jazz FM Voices will provide a multi-platform content experience for everyone and take an in depth look at the world in 2020. Including a focus on the Black Diaspora within the UK and LGBTQ+ experiences in our society, the platform is a commitment to keeping the conversation going, sharing content that centres around all faiths and cultures through the lens of Jazz FM and its music.

Content will start to be heard on Jazz FM and seen on their social channels throughout Black History Month and into 2021. From January, the 30th anniversary celebrations will finish and a new season of 52 “Voices” programmes will take over Saturday evenings throughout the year.

Of Jazz FM Voices, the brand’s Content Director Nick Pitts says: “One of the biggest talking points of 2020, alongside Covid-19, has been that of the Black Lives Matter movement and the conversations that have stemmed into other races and religions.  We believe that Jazz FM needs to sit up, listen and act as part of this time of change. Jazz FM Voices will sit online, on social media and on air in various forms. There is a specially created Editorial Forum of presenters and producers who will guide the editorial, overseen by Claire Umney who has added the role of Editor, Jazz FM Voices to her duties.  I am so excited for what we will start to hear. We all really hope that this dedicated initiative will make people think, reflect and encourage more respect and understanding for the future.”


October highlights

Being Black, British – members of the jazz community will share their take on what it means to be Black, British. Listeners will have an opportunity to hear open and raw accounts from musicians and creatives at various points of the month in Anne Frankenstein’s daytime programme through a series of sound capsules.

Renell Shaw’s 33-minute Windrush Suite will get its first full play on UK radio on the first Saturday of October (3rd).  This piece was commissioned for Windrush Day by London’s Vortex Jazz Club, with support from the PRS for Music Foundation, and features many from the Windrush generation.  The programme – hosted by award winning jazz vibraphonist and second generation Windrush’er, Orphy Robinson will include interviews with Renell’s grandparents, an introduction from Dave Holland, and narrative from writer and broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre.

World Mental Health Day – On this World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10th October), we’re thinking about what makes us feel connected. 2020 has been a challenging year that has kept us apart, and music has been a great comfort to many. In a special request programme called ‘Dedicated to You’, China Moses is asking listeners and musicians to share the music that makes them feel closer to others. Alongside China, Jazz FM Award Nominees Yazz Ahmed, Camilla George and Cassie Kinoshi will share their relationship with Mental Health.

Black Bandcamp – On March 20th, Bandcamp waived their revenue share in order to help artists and labels impacted by the pandemic. The online fundraiser was such a success the site has declared that the first Friday of every month for the rest of 2020 is ‘Bandcamp Friday’. For October, Black Bandcamp will share their crowd-sourced recommendations of Black artists, producers and labels to support this Bandcamp Friday via Jazz FM Voices. This is the first piece of content created outside of the Jazz FM team that we’ll continue to promote as part of this initiative.


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About Jazz FM:
Jazz FM is the largest commercial jazz station in the world, celebrating the complete spectrum of Jazz in all its colourful forms since 1990.  Jazz FM broadcasters, producers and team are true devotees, with a deep love and understanding of their particular jazz shade, their passion is vivid, their enthusiasm infectious, sharing the finest jazz with everyone.

As the UK’s only dedicated jazz broadcaster, Jazz FM is on a mission to entertain, promote and celebrate all that’s great about Jazz. Involvement with national festivals and awards is part of this – setting the bar high for live performance, recognising outstanding talent and strengthening the Jazz community.

No matter how people tune-in they always listen in colour.

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