Jazz On 3

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Jez Nelson presents the Vandermark 5 in concert at The Vortex, led by reeds player Ken Vandermark, who has been a pioneer of Chicago's jazz and improvisation scene for two decades.

Ken formed the Vandermark 5 in 1996.

14 years and 15 albums later, they continue to be one of the most exciting and forward-looking bands in contemporary music, exploring the borders of composition and improvisation, and of jazz, funk rock and new music.

Alongside Ken Vandermark, the band currently features drummer Tim Daisy, Kent Kessler on double bass, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and saxophonist Dave Rempis.

Presenter: Jez Nelson

Producer: Joby Waldman.

The Vandermark 5 in concert, led by Chicago based reeds player Ken Vandermark.

Jez Nelson presents hotly tipped pianist Kit Downes's trio, with drummer James Maddren and Calum Gourlay on double bass, recorded at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in May.

Downes is a versatile player who, as part of a wave of twenty-something British musicians, has spent the past few years exploring new directions in jazz.

Last heard on Jazz On 3 a few weeks ago playing organ in avant-blues-rock trio Troyka, he's also a member of the dark and explosive Golden Age of Steam.

As a classic piano, bass and drums trio, Downes's own group makes more obvious reference to the jazz tradition than either of the above, but the group's sound looks forwards as well as back, and showcases Kit's voice as both a distinctive contemporary composer and an economical and thoughtful improviser.

Producers: Robert Abel and Peggy Sutton.

With Jez Nelson: Pianist Kit Downes's trio in concert at 2010's Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

Jez Nelson presents highlights of 2010's Freedom Of The City festival.

Curated by Evan Parker, Eddie Prevost, John Coxon and Trevor Brent, this annual event celebrates London's status as a leading centre of free improvisation worldwide.

This year's line-up includes musicians from the UK and the US.

Cellist Okkyung Lee and trumpeter Peter Evans from New York join British saxophonist Evan Parker, while American trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith is featured in a group that also includes UK players John Coxon and Alex Ward.

Plus sets from percussionist Mark Sanders with reeds player John Butcher and the Stellari String Quartet.

Studio guest: Steve Beresford

Producer: Peggy Sutton.

Jez Nelson presents highlights from 2010's Freedom of the City festival.

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