For all you jazz connoisseurs out there, there is a brand new jazz show in town available on BBC Radio 3, headed up by a trio of highly talented presenters consisting
of the MOBO awarding winning Soweto Kinch, the super glam jazz singer Emma Smith, and big band leader Al Ryan. For the non-jazz aficionados amongst us who may be thinking,
so what?, don’t switch off just yet – this is your chance to (re)connect yourself with jazz again – however momentarily.
Once considered depraved and socially degrading jazz has since shifted into the realms of musical pretentiousness that at times borders on the incoherent, with its cacophony of screeches, squeaks and pips requiring a questionable level of instrumental expertise, but does occasionally touch on the sublime.
Of its 3 presenters Al Ryan’s own musical knowledge and expertise is hard to fault. He fell in love with music at a young age and especially jazz, which was perhaps quite unusual for a kid growing up in Ireland restricted to a diet of old musicals and the occasional glimpse
band, with 5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, full rhythm section, a piano, bass, double bass, drums and guitar; that was another great passion to perform live.”
When circumstances prevailed he found himself on the ferry over to the UK and it wasn’t surprising then that he was quickly able to find himself working at the BBC and recently was given the call to work on Radio 3’s latest show ‘Jazz Now’, joining forces with Soweto and Emma to take a look out.
Introducing acts such as Bugge Wesseltoft who curiously combines traditional acoustic jazz with more experimental electronic music, the presenters are able to infuse their own passion for the music alongside the artist’s currently playing on today’s jazz scene, warmly sharing their encyclopaedic knowledge with audiences. The show also provides Master Classes where artists give their insights into their music that although occasionally overly technical is enjoyable for non-musicians too.
Showcasing a variety of jazz new and old brings jazz to new and old audiences and you only have to look into the work of Al’s fellow presenter Soweto to see what contemporary can mean as his repertoire of skills show he’s a talented musician, singer, poet and
of a jazz musician on day time TV. But he showed enough desire to warrant his parents to buy him his very own trumpet and his passion has never faltered from starting up his own
jazz band at school to furthering his musical education later in life which has eventually led him to working on the radio and presenting. at contemporary jazz every Monday night.
He got his first work placement at Lyric FM which soon turned into 11 successful years gaining
extensive experience broadcasting in Ireland where he became a long standing figure at events such as the Cork Jazz festival whilst also becoming a big band leader himself along the way too.
“I had a jazz orchestra called the Savoy Jazz Orchestra which was a 18 piece big band a good old fashioned big Jazz is synonymous with hard to pronounce and even harder to remember names with the likes of Cab Calloway, Thelonias Monk or Papa Jack Zaine from amongst
the canon of the most revered jazz purveyors of which many you will have heard of and of course the show will be taking a look at the household artists but it’s the introduction and exposure of other lesser known artists that really makes the show stand rapper as well as radio presenter too!
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Programme Name: Jazz Now – TX: 04/04/2016 – Episode: n/a (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: The new presenters confirmed to front BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now which launches Monday April 4th 2016 11pm – 12:30am Emma Smith, Soweto Kinch, Al Ryan – (C) BBC – Photographer: Jude Edington