Press releases

Jazz FM to broadcast its first ever drama called “Space Is The Place”

Space Is The Place to feature the stories of Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong and Sun Ra

Recorded in a socially distanced environment, it stars Olivier Award nominated Kevin Harvey as the mysterious jazz Time Traveller, alongside a young diverse cast of professional actors

Written by Jeff Young and Fraser Ayres, produced by Sparklab Productions, and supported by the Audio Content Fund

As part of its 30th anniversary season of programmes, the UK’s only national jazz soul and blues radio station is set to broadcast a new series of specially commissioned dramas in the run up to Christmas.

Based on five pivotal moments in the lives of some of Jazz FM’s legendary artists, “Space Is The Place” will broadcast each evening in Dinner Jazz with an omnibus edition on Saturday evenings.

The stories will feature moments in the lives of jazz titans Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong and the man whose album and film ‘Space Is The Place’ lends its name to this series, Sun Ra.  The first series of stories are from the ‘first lady of song’ who launched Jazz FM in 1990 – Ella Fitzgerald.  Each set of stories will feature the mysterious time travelling “Jazz Traveller” who will take the listener to key moments in the lives of these artists that make them the legends they became.

Jazz FM’s Content Director Nick Pitts says “Whilst there have been so many challenges this last year, our 30th Anniversary celebrations have carried on and I’m so pleased that we are not only closing our year of special programmes with this, but once again we are able to break the mould and broadcast something so unique for our audience.  We know that the listeners have a healthy interest in the history of the music and the superstars of jazz, and this programme is not just going to tell the stories but really bring them to life.”

Produced by Manchester based Sparklab Productions who have hours of drama and factual programmes for BBC Network Radio, MD and Exec Producer Melanie Harris says “This was a complete joy to produce. Terrific scripts, a hugely talented ensemble of actors and a chance for all of us to immerse ourselves in the lives and music of five extraordinary artists. What a great project! I’m proud to bring this series to Jazz FM: the perfect platform for these stories.” 

Space Is the Place

Consisting of 5 x 5minute ‘Acts’ (Monday-Friday @ 8pm) and 1 x Omnibus (Saturday @ 9pm)

  • w/c 23 November – ELLA FITZGERALD written by Jeff Young
  • w/c 30 November – LOUIS ARMSTRONG written by Fraser Ayres
  • w/c 7th December – MILES DAVIS written by Fraser Ayres
  • w/c 14th December – NINA SIMONE written by Jeff Young
  • w/c 21st December – SUN RA written by Frazer Ayres

Cast: Kevin Harvey, Peter Bankolé, Lloyd Thomas, Elexi Walker, Madeline Appiah, Wil Johnson, Beru Tessema, Lloyd Thomas, David Carr and George Eggay

Director/Producer: Melanie Harris

Production assistants: Eleanor Mein & Louis Blatherwick

Recording Studio: Crown Lane Studio

 

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For further press information, please contact:

Cat Martin – Bauer Media Communications Director (Radio)

M: 07932 746 363

Amelia O’Shea – Bauer Media Communications Manager (Radio)

M: 07718 489342

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 Sparklab Productions:

At Sparklab we bring together a mix of talent to create inventive, surprising and entertaining content for audio platforms. We make a wide range of drama, docs, features, audio books and podcasts from our Manchester base. Our approach to drama and factual programmes both is the same: we seek the best stories and tell them in a way that engages audiences. We aim to be adventurous and imaginative in our programme-making, we underpin all our work with strong production values, and we attract talented freelance directors and producers who share our outlook. We care deeply about reflecting the diversity of the world outside London in our programmes and in our production teams.

We love encouraging new talent to flourish.