Posted on 19th Jul 2021 by John Rosie
Jazz FM is to broadcast a three-part series of interviews with jazz giants Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughan and Art Blakey that were recorded by the late journalist Les Tomkins and are now held by the National Jazz Archive.
Hosted by Helen Mayhew, these three hour-long programmes will feature the highlights of many hours of interviews, beginning on Sunday 25 July with Art Blakey, followed by Oscar Peterson on Sunday 1 August, and Sarah Vaughan on Sunday 8 August. Each programme begins at 9pm.
Before his death last year, Les Tomkins bequeathed his remarkable library of recordings to the National Jazz Archive. He regularly interviewed jazz musicians when they played in London and published articles and features in Jazz News, Crescendo and Melody Maker from the 1950s, based on these recordings. Many of Les Tomkins’ interviews with jazz greats that were published in Crescendo can be read on the website along with some of the original interview transcripts.
Paul Kaufman, 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.”
Jazz FM’s Content Director Nick Pitts says: “The programme will just scratch the surface of these extensive interviews in amongst so many more in the National Jazz Archive, 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 Archive for partnering with us on this landmark opportunity to shed some intimate light on these great names.”
As well as using DAB or FM radio, you can also listen to the Jazz FM broadcast online.