the hot box iconThe Hot Box

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.


The Hot Box #083 - The Nostalgia Show

The Hot Box 83 “The Nostalgia Show” all started with a listener request to look at some of the music that ignited a whole new era for jazz audiences, the last of the 50s and the full post-bop era.

The Hot Box #082 - An All-New Affair

In this episode of The Hot Box there is an hour-plus of new recordings from at home and abroad, celebrating the return to both collective recording and live performance.

The Hot Box #081 - Jazz Legends

This episode of the Hot Box sets the scene for Jazz Legends – Charles Mingus 100th and Miles Davis Kind of Blue.  

21st April – National Concert Hall – Dublin

22nd April – Cork Opera House – Cork City

On the centenary of his birth, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra & Big Band pays tribute to Charles Mingus. In an imaginative first, the RTÉ CO has joined forces with its counterpart the BBC Concert Orchestra to commission a special set of brand-new orchestrations from Guy Barker, allowing both orchestras to do full justice to one of the greatest jazz musicians of them all. 

The Hot Box #080 – Wall-to-Wall Vocal Groups

A complete departure for our 80th birthday, with wall-to-wall vocal groups, stimulated by a positive reaction to the all-vocal content of the 77th Hot Box. So, for the first time, we have an hour of the best harmony vocalising in jazz, from the streets of New Orleans to Carnegie Hall.

The Hot Box #079 - The Guitar Files - Part 9

Once again, the central preoccupation is the amazing roster of guitar players, this time those filed under the letter H. And under that heading the music world was blessed for many years with the presence of Jim Hall. So there’s some great straight ahead jazz from him, and some less straight ahead from Joel Harrison and Charlie Hunter.

The Hot Box #078 - New Year’s Eve Hot Box Special

Listen back to the live broadcast of The Hot Box on Jazz Radio Ireland for New Year’s Eve 2021. This is a 2-hour special edition of The Hot Box presented by Donald Helme.

The Hot Box #077 - Singers Unlimited

The Hot Box #77……What’s Inside?

Taking a leaf out of the book of jazz station WBGO Newark New Jersey, this edition of The Hot Box presents “Singers Unlimited”.

So if vocal jazz sets your pulse racing, this one’s for you. And there’s a little nod in the direction Christmas as well. Every one of these great singers has appeared in Ireland over the years. (And of course, some of them are Irish!)