Skip to Content
19 July 2021

The Lost Tapes: jazz giants return to air in more unearthed interview tapes

A three-part series featuring lost interviews with some of the titans of the jazz world

Featuring Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughan and Art Blakey

Taken from the tapes recorded by the late journalist Les Tomkins, now held by the National Jazz Archive

Following on from the spring broadcast of a lost interview tape of jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, Jazz FM is to broadcast a three part series of long-lost interviews with some of the giants in classic jazz, thanks to a new partnership with the UK’s National Jazz Archive.

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 25th July at 9:00-10:00pm

25th July: Art Blakey

1st August: Oscar Peterson

8th August: Sarah Vaughan


– ENDS –


For further press information, please contact: 
Amelia O’Shea – Head of Communications, Bauer Media Audio UK 
M: 07718 489342 

Cat Martin – Communications Director, Bauer Media Audio 
M: 07932 746 363 

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.

About the National Jazz Archive:

The National Jazz Archive is a registered charity founded in 1988. The Archive holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from 1919 to the present day. Its strapline is “Working for the Past, Present and Future of Jazz.”

The Archive is based in Loughton Library in Essex, with a satellite archive at Birmingham City University. Together they hold more than 4000 reference books, specialist journals and bulletins spanning over 800 titles, around 40 personal collections, artwork, ephemera and photographs, along with an extensive oral history collection.

The Archive’s vision is to ensure that significant jazz material is safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers and to make it as freely accessible as possible. A wealth of material is already free to view on-line.

The Archive is supported by Essex County Council, which provides rent-free accommodation and a part-time Research Archivist, whose role involves helping visitors, providing an enquiry service, responding to research requests from students, writers, enthusiasts and journalists, and organising the National Jazz Archive celebrity fundraising events.

Latest News

25 April 2024

Craig David and Becky Hill among performers announced for Hits Radio Live: Liverpool

Read More
24 April 2024

Bauer Media Group achieves IAB Gold Standard Certification once again

Read More
19 April 2024

Bauer Media Audio UK recognised with eighteen nominations at this year’s TRIC Awards

Read More
17 April 2024

Hits Radio launches first ever TV ad campaign

Read More