Radio 2 announces new summer programming and festival coverage

This summer, BBC Radio 2 is broadcasting coverage of some of the UK’s leading music festivals as well as presenting new specialist music series from Dave Pearce, Slash, Richard Hawley and David Rodigan.

Jeff Smith, Head of Music, BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6 Music, says: "Radio 2 shows another side to the summer festival season with our continued commitment to the top jazz, blues and folk festivals in the country highlighting the broad range of music we cover all year long."

This month, DJ and broadcaster Dave Pearce has joined Radio 2 with a new dance music show each Saturday night from 10pm - 12midnight.

Dave Pearce: Dance Years sees him trawl through his vast record collection for a show full of his favourite tracks - celebrating some of the finest moments in UK dance history.

Alongside the latest tracks currently on the UK's dance floors, Dave plays new dance mixes, club classics from the 90s and Noughties and he also uncovers some lesser-known hidden gems from the 70s and 80s. Plus in a disco-tastic flashback, he provides a slow jam track to stir up those last dance memories.

Dave has been working on the dance scene since playing disco on a land-based pirate radio in the late Seventies and has continued going to clubs, DJ-ing and enjoying the music ever since. His pioneering work in hip-hop led him to, among other things, be featured on Public Enemy’s critically acclaimed album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.

Also launching this month, guitar legend Slash presents a six-part rock music series following his successful one-off programme over New Year 2010 profiling guitar legends. Produced by Somethin’ Else Productions, the former Guns N Roses guitarist, who hails from Stoke-On-Trent, will play some of his favourite rock tunes and chat to some of his contemporaries and heroes.

Slash said: "You're going to hear the songs that inspired me to pick up a guitar and join a band; the greatest rock n' roll riffs, solos and power chords ever committed to wax for an hour a week.”

From Thursday May 3rd from 9.30pm – 10pm for eight weeks, Richard Hawley joins Radio 2 for a brand new series celebrating the sound of a genre close to his heart - rockabilly.

Produced by TBI Media, Richard delves into his own vast collection of vinyl records to celebrate rockabilly’s inspirations including R&B, country, blues, hillbilly, honky tonk and rock & roll.

Richard also recounts some great stories from his own experiences, from shopping with his dad in Sheffield record stores as a kid, to later in life getting to know legends of the genre such as Duane Eddy.

Richard says: "It's such a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to play these truly wonderful records to a wider audience and not just the faithful. I hope folks enjoy the music as much as I have all these years. It's amazing that they were recorded as long ago as 60 years, they still sound so good.

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival runs from 2nd-7th May with Radio 2’s very own Jamie Cullum is the guest director for the second year running, featuring performances from stellar artists such as Steve Winwood, Paloma Faith with the Guy Barker Orchestra and Imelda May. 

Radio 2 will reflect the festival in a number of ways.

Friday Night Is Music Night on 4th May will revel in this weekend of Jazz by celebrating the life and music of Ray Charles, with performances from jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, Madeline Bell and James Tormé, who will be accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Guy Barker Big Band Orchestra. The evening will be narrated by actor David Harewood MBE.

On Saturday 5th May, Jamie will cover for Dermot O’Leary from 4-6pm and broadcast live from the festival. He’ll be joined by Gregory Porter, modern blues artist C.W. Stoneking and a host of other acts performing at the event.  

On Monday 7th May at 6pm, an hour special with Grammy-nominated jazz songstress Melody Gardot will be broadcast, featuring her set at the Festival.

On Tuesday 8th May at 7pm, Jamie’s Radio 2 Jazz show will present festival highlights, with some special interviews recorded backstage.  

Jamie is looking forward to the festival: "I've been heading out to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival for years and always enjoyed its great programme and wicked vibe. I can't wait to have the opportunity to showcase that for listeners at home - sessions, interviews, music and buzz from the festival!"

Last summer, legendary reggae DJ David Rodigan made his long deserved national radio debut with a 10-part series on Radio 2. Following a passionate outpouring of support from listeners, Rodigan returns on May 21st with a 13-part series, once again playing the best in Jamaican roots and reggae from the past 50 years.

Recently awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List, David says: “I absolutely loved being on Radio 2 last year so I’m chuffed to be returning to the UK’s most popular radio station later this year. I promise more Lovers Rock, more Ska and Rocksteady and of course I promise to dig to the bottom of my record box to produce more classic roots and reggae tracks.”

BluesFest, an 11-day blues, soul and jazz festival, takes place in London and Manchester in June, featuring performances from John Hiatt, Van Morrison, George Benson and Hugh Laurie - and Radio 2 will be there. Listeners will be treated to exclusive interviews and performances on Paul Jones Rhythm and Blues show from 7pm on Monday 9th July.     

Paul Jones says: “I'm excited that BluesFest will soon be upon us again - with a huge and starry line-up in London AND Manchester from June 25th for two weeks. I'm also thrilled about BBC Radio 2's involvement. The Rhythm & Blues programme is already previewing some of the major blues acts with CD tracks, and on Monday July 9th we'll have a two-and-a-half-hour special, full of live music from across the whole fortnight of BluesFest 2012.”

Cambridge Folk Festival (26 – 29 July), renowned for its eclectic mix of music and a wide definition of folk, is the final festival Radio 2 will broadcast the very best music from this summer.

The line-up includes artists such as Roy Harper, Clannad, Nick Jones and Loreena McKennitt, and highlights, as well as interviews with the acts, will be broadcast within a Mike Harding’s Folk Show Special on 1st August, from 7-9pm.

Mike says: "Cambridge fully deserves its status as one of Europe’s greatest folk festivals. The laid-back atmosphere, coupled with a line-up full of the finest folk and roots artists, makes it one of my annual musical highlights.

"This summer I’ll be back at Cherry Hinton Hall, bringing you backstage interviews and brilliant live tracks from top acts including two of my favourites: Nanci Griffith and John Prine.”

May 10, 2012 2:01pm ET by BBC Radio 2   Comments (0)

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