Will Young to host BBC Music Jazz programme

Jazz fan Will Young will host a show on the BBC Music Jazz DAB station this year.

He will be given free rein to play his favourite jazz classics, with a planned playlist including songs from Tony Bennett, Jill Scott, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and the Oscar Peterson Trio.

Will says: “I am a jazz singer at heart. Jazz is that simple connection with the audience, saying ‘here have a listen and see what you think’, so it was the biggest treat to spend an hour sharing some of my favourite jazz artists on the airwaves for the BBC Music Jazz pop-up – I felt really privileged to be asked. I hope everyone enjoys the pop-up, I know I’ll be tuning in!”

Musician Sir Van Morrison also joins the list of guests for the pop-up, appearing alongside broadcaster and saxophonist Leo Green to discuss his relationship with jazz over the years, and the influence it has had on his music.

Other schedule highlights include programmes with Jez Nelson, interviewing Don Cheadle, Colin Murray, and Gregory Porter playing their favourites.

There are also new programmes from jazz-loving comedian Stewart Lee, musician Cerys Matthews, actor and DJ Craig Charles, plus writer Hardeep Singh Kohli, with each presenter playing handpicked selections of their favourite jazz tunes. BBC Radio 2 presenter, Steve Wright also presents a special version of his programme Sunday Love Songs where he will play a selection of jazz tracks as chosen by his audience.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s 50 Greatest Jazz Artists, Geoffrey Smith and Helen Mayhew will present a countdown of 50 Greatest Jazz Albums as voted for by members of the Jazz Community in four programmes across the weekend.

Jan Garbarek and his group will also perform live from the EFG London Jazz Festival and saxophonist and BBC Radio 3 presenter Soweto Kinch will host a special live edition of Jazz Now from the Dean Street Pizza Express in London’s Soho.

The BBC Music Jazz pop-up will run from 10am on Thursday 10 November until 10am on Monday 14 November on digital radio, online and the iPlayer Radio app.

BBC Music Jazz is led by BBC Music Editor James Stirling, Controller of BBC Radio 3 Alan Davey, BBC Radio 3 Editor Tony Cheevers, and Jazz FM Content Director Nick Pitts. BBC Music Jazz this year will be the seventh BBC music radio pop-up service, following in the footsteps of Radio 2 Country, Radio 2 50s and Radio 2 Eurovision services.

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