Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press release

Radio 2 looks forward to electric autumn of music

BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2 presents an eclectic programme of memorable musical highlights for the coming season.

Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 and 6 Music, comments: "This autumn, Radio 2 is investing in more hours of live music than ever before. We've a musical spectrum ranging from three timeless and iconic acts taking part in this year's Electric Proms, to some great moments in jazz, folk and choral music and on to the contemporary Take That duo of Robbie and Gary."

This year's Radio 2 Electric Proms showcases three global giants of the genre: Sir Elton John, Neil Diamond and Robert Plant, each performing intimate concerts from London's Roundhouse to be broadcast live on Radio 2 on 28, 29 and 30 October. Launching the season on 28 October, Sir Elton teams up with his mentor Leon Russell and their fans Plan B and Rumer to celebrate their classic songs together. Robert Plant will perform with the Band Of Joy and the 60-strong Oriana Choir, whilst Neil Diamond will appear with surprise guests.

Radio 2's Electric Proms forms the centrepiece of A Night With Sir Elton John on BBC Two on Saturday 30 October, together with a new documentary about Elton's life and musical journey, followed by A Night With Robert Plant on 6 November and A Night With Neil Diamond on 13 November. Red Button and online will provide exclusive clips and behind-the-scenes footage from 30 October.

In August this year, Paolo Nutini returned home to perform in Paisley Town Hall for a very special live concert for Radio 2 In Concert, as well as a songwriting masterclass for local music students. After this huge success, two more bands will return to perform in their home towns this autumn. In November, Squeeze (venue to be announced) and in December double BRIT winners Manic Street Preachers will perform tracks from their new album as well as classic tracks at the Blackwood Mining Institute in Wales.

Following this summer's smash hit Hyde Park concerts, Proms in the Park and Elvis Forever, Radio 2's season of live music continues with more exclusive performance. On 30 September, Radio 2's 43rd birthday, Scissor Sisters appeared on Radio 2 Live in the Morning within Ken Bruce's show, and also pre-recorded a show that lunchtime for Radio 2 In Concert, which transmitted on 7 October. The show also featured tracks from their new album Night Work, as well as classic hits. On 14 October, Grammy award-winning Sheryl Crow will perform live from the legendary Maida Vale Studios for Radio 2 In Concert. Jamiroquai will present a set of new and much loved tracks on 4 November for Radio 2 In Concert.

Reunited Take That heroes Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams performed Shame on Simon Mayo's show on 7 October and, as a pre-Xmas treat for Radio 2 listeners, the inimitable Kylie will present a blistering set for Radio 2 Live in the Morning within Ken Bruce's show on 1 December.

Great British Songbook is Radio 2's celebration of the work of British songwriters, with artists of today performing classic British songs. Dermot O'Leary's Saturday afternoon show will be bursting at the seams with the best of British this autumn, with interviews with Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Ray Davies.

Pixie Lott will be performing live on Simon Mayo on 13 October to include a song from the Great British Songbook.

Weekend Wogan returned for a new series on 3 October with a very special show live from the world-famous London Palladium in aid of BBC Children in Need, with a line-up including JLS, Status Quo, Imelda May, Jimmy Tarbuck, Lord Lloyd Webber and BBC's Over The Rainbow winner, Danielle Hope. Weekend Wogan has established itself as one of the most popular shows on Radio 2 at the weekends, with recent guests Chris de Burgh, Sandie Shaw and John Legend.

Jazz is also highlighted on the network this autumn.

Jazz Junctions, a new 10-part music documentary series from 6 October, presented by British trumpet maestro Guy Barker, explores the ever-changing journey of jazz through its 100-year history. Intercut with archive interviews with jazz greats from the past, are contributions from more than 50 living legends of their craft, including McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Dave Brubeck, Buddy DeFranco, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Roy Haynes, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Lou Donaldson and Sir Charles Thompson.

"As a musician, I’m really impressed with the range of talent showcased in this series," comments Guy Barker. "I'm very much looking forward to introducing what to me is a definitive jazz hall of fame."

Jamie Cullum's weekly jazz show (Tuesdays, 7-8pm) is going from strength to strength.

On 26 October, in the lead-up to the London Jazz Festival, Jamie is joined by South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela as he looks back over his career and talks about the highs and lows that have influenced the music he produces today, whilst Jamie Cullum plays an archive Charlie Parker tribute session from Jazz625, performed by the JJ Johnson Group.

On 30 November, Jamie introduces part one of a two-part special in which he talks to Dave Brubeck in an intimate interview reflecting on Brubeck’s incredible career in the lead-up to his 90th birthday. The programmes also include Maida Vale sessions with Dave Brubeck's three sons and legendary British jazz singer and actress Cleo Laine, best-known for her inimitable scat singing style.

Radio 2 continues to support musicians at grass roots level with coverage from the Young Chorister of the Year Final, to be recorded in St. Paul's Cathedral on 29 October. Eight young musicians (four boys and four girls) from around the UK will battle it out, with the final to be broadcast on 7 November. Also in November, the nominees for the Young Folk Award will be announced, and will take part in the audition weekend in Kendal from 12-14 November.

From 6 November Radio 2 celebrates the Country Music Awards with a week of special programming that includes a two-hour special from Nashville presented by die-hard country fan Dale Winton (12 November). On Bob Harris Country that week, CMA nominated group Little Big Town perform an acoustic session for the show.

Many of the exclusive concerts and sessions on Radio 2 are filmed and available to watch on the Radio 2 website and the Red Button. Access to artists and the relaxed intimacy of the radio session environment means we are often able to capture special behind-the-scenes moments.

Watch Robbie Williams' and Gary Barlow's performance from last week's Simon Mayo show here.

SH

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