JLR Interview Series: Jinjoo Yoo

Pianist Jinjoo Yoo is a South Korean pianist who is based in New York City. Jinjoo will be joining the Chris Hodgkins International Quartet for his spring UK tour starting May 14th. I interviewed Jinjoo in advance of the tour, you can hear the interview at these times:

Wednesday 17th April: 8pm

Thursday 18th April: 7pm

Saturday 20th April: 1pm

JLR Interview Series: Paul Stewart of Blueboy

Jazz London Radio recently interviewed guitarist and keyboard player Paul Stewart, who was an integral member of 1990s indie band Blueboy. Blueboy recently reissued the classic album Bank of England on vinyl. You can hear the interview at these times:

Wednesday 28th November: 8pm       

Thursday 29th November: 7pm

Saturday 30th November: 1pm

BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018

Xhosa Cole announced as BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018

by Sophia Alexandra Hall

Five fantastic young jazz musicians competed in the BBC Young Jazz Musician Final last night (recorded November 24th, broadcast at 9pm on BBC4 November 25th) however, the title of BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018 was awarded to saxophonist Xhosa Cole. The final took place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s Southbank Centre, event supported by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. This year, for the first time, the Final was held at the EFG London Jazz Festival, as part of a new relationship designed to further the competition’s aim of showcasing the most talented young jazz performers to audiences across the UK.

In the grand final, each performer was tasked with playing a sixteen-minute set, which included at least one piece written or arranged by themselves. Xhosa played “Moving Ladywood” (Xhosa Cole), “I Cover The Waterfront” (Johnny Green) and “Moment’s Notice” (John Coltrane). Each of the contestants were backed by an outstanding band, consisting of Paula Gardiner (bass), Asaf Sirkis (drums), and led by Gwilym Simcock (piano).

Following his victory, Xhosa said:

“It’s been amazing to represent and have been represented at this prestigious celebration of jazz music in the UK. The calibre of musicianship and passion for jazz music displayed on the stage today has been incredibly inspiring to be a part of.”

This year’s judging panel was made up of Monty Alexander, Zoe Rahman, Gary Crosby, Zara McFarlane and Iain Ballamy.

Of the winner, judge Iain Ballamy said:

“Xhosa’s performance was so heartfelt, sincere and communicative. It’s easy to see he has such a deep and genuine love of the tradition that gave us such a convincing performance on the night. All five finalists were brilliant – I’d be happy to share the stage with any one of them – and hope to do so!”

The full line-up of BBC Young Jazz Musician finalists included:

  • Xhosa Cole – saxophone – 22 years old
  • Reuben Goldmark – piano – 18 years old
  • Fergus McCreadie – piano – 21 years old
  • James Owston – bass – 22 years old
  • Seth Tackaberry – bass – 20 years old

2016 winner Alexandra Ridout also performed at the final and said of her time as BBC Young Jazz Musician:

“Being named BBC Young Jazz Musician in 2016 was inspiring and so enjoyable. The whole competition made such an impact on my life because my playing improved and I gained more confidence as a musician and a person. I’m really excited for what the future holds for Xhosa.”

Since winning the 2016 final, Alexandra has performed around the country in festivals, concert halls, arts centres, music societies and major jazz clubs, and has had her music played on various BBC Radio 3 shows, Jazz FM and Jazz London Radio (listen to Ridout on the JLR interview series). She began studying at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in September 2017.

In addition to the television coverage on BBC Four and iPlayer for 30 days, BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting highlights of the Final in J to Z – a weekly programme exploring new sounds with classic recordings and exclusive sessions – on Saturday 1st December.

New Show on Jazz London Radio: Pizza Express Hour with Joe Paice

Jazz London is delighted to announce a new monthly magazine show called the Pizza Express Hour featuring Programme Manager Joe Paice. Joe will be featuring upcoming artists who will perform at the prestigious venue, interviewing the stars who make the music happen; and feature a track from the vaults recorded live at the Pizza Express over the many years it has been running in Dean Street, Soho.

This month Joe interviews the legendary singer Sheila Jordan who recently performed at the club and incredibly is in her 90th year!

You will be able to hear the show twice weekly on Thursdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Hope you enjoy, I am sure you will.


Interview with Sam Barnett 21/08/2018

Backstage at the 100 club, I caught up with Saxophonist Sam Barnett ahead of his evening show on Tuesday 21st August. All this week, the 100 Club are running a new Jazz/Blues Festival which features both new artists and old favourites. For more information visit https://www.the100club.co.uk/

Sophia Hall: You’ve just finished sound checking for your show this week at the 100 club, and it’s sounding great! Can you tell me a bit about tomorrow’s program?

Sam Barnett: Yep, so the Show is on Tuesday 21st August at 7.30pm. I’m actually working with Theo Travis, who is a Trevor James artist like myself, and we’re going to do a mix of modern jazz, original compositions and standards. The band is a Quartet plus Theo as a special guest – but he’s also an integral part of the group, and we’ll be swapping around lead saxophone as well as playing some stuff together. On piano we’ve got Rupert Cox, our drummer is Phelan Burgoyne who I study with in Switzerland, and Kuba Dworak who’s originally from Poland, but I also study with in Switzerland. I bought them over here for the gig to come perform with me in this fantastic venue.

SH: That’s awesome – so where are you studying in Switzerland?

SB: I’m actually in Basel, which is right on the Swiss border of France and Germany and I’m there at the Jazz Campus. It’s great because there are only about 90 of us altogether, so it really is like a family. There are some incredible teachers including Mark Turner, Domenic Landolf, Jorge Rossy and Michael Beck; you can just sign up for how much time you want with a tutor each week and really get to know them as well as learn from them. I’ve just finished my first year at the conservatoire, and after summer, I’ll be going into my second year. I auditioned for Basel when I was 16 – most places in the UK won’t take you until you’re 18.

SH: Where were you before Switzerland?

SB: So I come from a very creative family and I’m the first to be an outstanding musician specialising in the field of Jazz. I come from this wonderful artistic background and I’m so happy to have grown up in the environment I did, and I think it helped me to get where I am now. Training wise, I’ve been to various specialist schools including the Purcell School of Music and the Junior Jazz Department at the Royal Academy of Music with Gareth Lockrane. I also worked with Tomorrow’s Warriors youth programme, as well as NYJO 2 and NYJO London. When I was 14 I was selected for the Berklee Summer Program, which is a competitive specialised Jazz course at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

SH: You released an album, ‘New York – London Suite’, with your Quintet last year. What’s next on the cards for you?

SB: Yeah that was my first album and it was all original compositions and that was my first conceptual based writing. That was my first big step towards putting that kind of project together, and it was longlisted for an Unsigned Music Award! On Tuesday night, I’m going to be playing new originals that weren’t featured on my debut album, I’ve kind of put that material to bed for now. After the album was released, I did a long tour – well many, many gigs – playing the album material; it’s seen its fair share of stage time, so I’m ready to bring out some new stuff. I even wrote a few of the tunes I’ll be playing on Tuesday specifically for this gig! I’ve also arranged quite a few pieces, because now I’ve got the tenor it’s nice to write two-part harmony, which is a lot of fun. But actually, I’ve got a new project coming up in Switzerland, and that’s with the Quartet. That’s going to be the main stuff I’ll be promoting, which is the brand-new material. I’m really pushing to play these pieces at gigs and it’s what I’m most excited about.

SH: Are you part of any other events this week with the 100 club?

SB: Actually, I’m playing on the Thursday, 23rd of this week. I’m playing a short set with a trio including some musicians from Leeds College of Music and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s part of Thursday’s Youth Jazz Artist Development Programme which includes a workshop run by Leeds College of Music before the gig, and a jam afterwards!

SH: That all sounds fantastic – good luck for both of your gigs this week and I look forward to hearing you play!

SB: Thanks very much!


The Sam Barnett Quartet feat. Theo Travis will take place on Tuesday, 21st August 2018 from 7.00pm – 11.00pm at the 100 Club. Tickets are £12.00 adv + bf / £8.00 student adv + bf. For more information visit https://www.the100club.co.uk/

Jazz London Radio All Stars at the Pizza Express Live

Jazz London Radio presents the Jazz London Radio All Stars; a special band put together to showcase the top musicians who not only play great music every week but perform great music live as well. The idea to put a band together came to us to perform in various London venues spreading the word of Jazz London Radio and having some fun at the same time. The great musicians we have get to perform some of their own compositions and throw in a few standards here and there as well.

Book tickets for Jazz London Radio All Stars


3rd October, Pizza Express Live

Kevin Davy’s D’semble Show with Special Guest Mark Kavuma

At 10pm on Jazz London Radio, we have the prominent young trumpet player Mark Kavuma joining the show to discuss his recently released debut album ‘Kavuma’.

Kavuma has appeared twice as a guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, leads his own Quartet, the ‘Floor Rippers’ house band, and is band leader for his main outfit, ‘The Banger Factory’. His debut album was released in June 2018 on Ubuntu Music.

Catch the show this week:    

Sunday [TONIGHT] 29/07 at 10pm
Friday 03/08 at 9pm
Sunday 05/08 at 10pm.