Since the demise of RTE Lyric’s Jazz Alley, which broadcast every week from the first weekend of the station’s existence until it was axed at the end of 2015, there has been no regular national programme devoted to jazz. The Hot Box aims to fill that gap with former Jazz Alley presenter Donald Helme.
The Hot Box sets the best of Irish recorded jazz in the wider context of the universal language that is jazz worldwide. It tries to emphasise accessability and sheer enjoyment, and is building an audience well beyond the shores of its home country.
Welcome to The Hot Box #054 where we get ever closer to the end of the long-running series The Piano Files! In this episode we explore pianists under the letters U… and V as well as a few omissions from the letter T. It turns out that the popularity of the letter V as the first letter in Cuban surnames becomes extremely focussed when it comes to piano players. All the Vs are Cuban. As for U, only one player was found with that initial letter!
Over an hour of newly released jazz in The Hot Box 053, you’ll find tracks from Corkonian John Donegan to veteran British multi-instrumentalist Alan Barnes, from Chick Corea to new singing sensation Veronica Swift.
The Hot Box #052 continues down the alphabet of pianists, and this time investigates the musicians filed under the letter T. A file that contains at least 3 of the all-time legends of jazz, not to mention 4 piano players with the same surname!
“Festivalisation” of jazz was a gradual process but one that seemed, a few years ago, to be terminal. Luckily, good sense has prevailed and jazz festivals have taken their rightful place in the overall scheme of things. Now Ireland boasts at least 7 such events, most of which are autumnal, including the great-grandmother of them all, Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. Started in 1978 and still prospering. In the Hot Box we check out some of the artists and bands appearing in Cork 2019, including headliners Kurt Elling, Linley Hamilton and Fred Hersch. And some less well-known - Airelle Besson, Sue Rynhart and Les Fans Flures.
We have a really fantastic line-up in The Hot Box #050 for Pianists under the letter S. Sampling multiple styles you will hear tracks from artists such as Ralph Sutton, Horace Silver, Helen Sung, Matthew Ship, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Martial Solal, Esbjorn Svensson, Bobo Stenson and more.
We also feature a track from Gwilym Simcock who is performing the New Ross Piano Festival Jazz Day on September 26th. You can view the event listing here. Then a wonderful track to close the lid on the 50th Episode of The Hot Box Podcast from Christian Sands entitled Reaching for the Sun.
The Hot Box 49 is an advanced peak behind the curtain of an upcoming concert from the RTE Concert Orchestra featuring a feast of George Gershwin music cantering on the first ever live performance of the Concert Version of the Armstrong / Ella orchestration “Porgy & Bess”.
The recreation of Russel Garcia’s entire score has been achieved by Derry born, award-winning jazz trumpeter and arranger Ryan Quigley. The world premiere of this concert will be performed by RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the 11th of September in The National Concert Hall in Dublin. The Ella & Louis parts will be delivered by Nicola Emmanuelle (‘the real deal’ – Time Out) and five-time British Jazz Awards winner Enrico Tomasso – who as a child actually knew Louis Armstrong.