PREVIEW: Radio feature about Norwich, Alton, Wakefield and Dunfermline (Broadcast on BBC Jazz Line-Up Saturday 6th after 5pm)

Photo from Writers Centre Norwich

Sebastian writes:

A radio feature I did,looking at four places in the UK which produce more than their fair share of top jazz musicians will be transmitted during Jazz Line-Up on Saturday February 6th - the programme starts at 5pm. The places are Norwich, Alton, Wakefield and the Kingdom of Fife, and the musicians who were interviewed are George Crowley and Kit Downes, (both originally from Norwich), Laura Jurd and Gwyneth Herbert (Alton), Reuben Fowler and Matt Robinson (Wakefield) and Kim Macari and Calum Gourlay (Fife, and both in fact from Dunfermline). A number of people have also suggested I could have looked at Derby and/or Cambridge. True.

The link to the programme on the BBC website is HERE.  UPDATE, 6th Feb: The item begins [18:12] into the programme is introduced by Julian Joseph and was produced by Sushil Dade.

There has also just been a repeat of another feature for Jazz Line-Up about some links between jazz and cricket. That is [18:50] into last Saturday's programme. LINK


  1. Richard Crockatt commented by email:


    Loved your piece about towns which have produced more than their fair share of jazz musicians in recent years. I wanted to add one or two details about Norwich. Kit Downes and George Crowley were certainly right about Dave Amis's influence through the Norwich Youth Jazz Orchestra.

    My son Sam was in it a few years before them. But there was another teacher/musician who had a big impact locally, though she didn't live in Norwich itself. I mean Gill Alexander who was a bass player and painter who used to hold jazz days -- sometimes in Norwich -- to teach kids how to improvise. She used to bring other musicians along with her. One time it was Bruce Turner who played with the Humphrey Lyttleton band in the 1950s. But she also started up a band called Jazza which Sam played in from the age of 13 right through school. The drummer was Tim Giles who's now a stalwart of the London jazz scene. Gill put an incredible amount of energy into this venture and she had regular concerts in her converted barn home in South Norfolk where all her friends -- top jazz musicians -- would play.

    So Sam and Tim were exposed to great jazz from an early age and as time went on they would be asked to sit in. Fantastic experience.

    The results of the input from these teachers is there for all to see. I'm sure the parents of the other musicians you interviewed will be as grateful to them as I am.

    All the best and thanks

    Richard Crockatt

  2. Ivor Widdison commented by email:

    Seb, I enjoyed your JLU feature and was glad to hear further recognition of the longstanding good work of Richard Michael. It was interesting that when he was awarded the BEM (sic) two or three years ago the citation referred to his contribution to music education, not jazz education! He is on my Jazz Education Awards Panel and we launched his "Brothers Michael" CD at the presentations on 1 Dec 2015. It was a nice touch of Julian and the producer to play a track from it at the end of the show.

    I was also pleased to hear the tribute to Alton College. The jazz course there was one of the reasons we awarded Hampshire (jointly with Southampton) a Diploma of Special Merit on 1 December.

    I look forward to more Seb Scotney in future JLUs !

  3. Great survey feature Seb. Congratulations.

  4. Congratulations on getting the BBC to give you the article on Jazz Hotspots.

    As someone who works closely with Kim Macari and had the pleasure of watching Reuben and Matt grow up and into jazz, and then expertise, I know just how dedicated these talented musicians are.

    Even more thanks for noticing Wakefield commonality (we have another Royal Academy student currently - Rory Ingham (tbn.)).

    Cravenly further thanks for mentioning the club as a significant factor in the Wakefield hotspot and your kind final remarks about voulnteer promoters.

    Very best wishes, Chris

    Chris de Saram
    Chair ~ NorVol Jazz
    Promoter - Wakefield Jazz