The countdown to the start of the Belfast Festival on 17 October has begun. The festival - now in its 46th year - runs until 1 November and hosts a variety of music, drama and dance performances throughout the city. The Bobo Stenson Trio, Liane Carroll, Manu Katche and Billy Cobham & Asere are all set to perform. The Bobo Stenson Trio play at the Elmwood Hall on 18 October, Liane Carroll is at the Spiegeltent on 23 October, Manu Katche plays at the Elmwood Hall on 1 November and Billy Cobham & Asere also take to the stage at the Elmwood Hall on 25 October. The festival will also play host to such world music artists as Orchestra Baobab (Whitla Hall, 19 October) and Seu Jorge (Mandela Hall, 29 October). For further information on the festival go to www.belfastfestival.com
 
Report: Ben Mulholland
 
Pictured: Bobo Stenson 

Jazz FM will be returning to the airwaves at 7pm tonight after a three-year absence. Available to listeners on the DAB digital radio platform in London, the north west, the west midlands, Glasgow and parts of the east coast of Scotland and south Wales, the station will also be available across the UK on Freesat, Sky and worldwide on jazzfm.com. Sarah Ward’s Dinner Jazz show kicks off proceedings with Art Pepper’s ‘All The Things You Are.’ Other specialist programmes include former Jazz FM presenter Mike Chadwick with The Cutting Edge and a Latin show, David Freeman’s blues show and Peter Young’s soul show. Other programmes include Mark Doyle’s Fierce Angel on Saturday nights, Robbie Vincent’s Sunday Morning Soul and David Prever’s The Jazz Breakfast on weekday mornings. Chairman Richard Wheatly said he is: “delighted to be bringing back Jazz FM… and would like to thank all of the team at Jazz FM for their hard work leading up to the launch.” Wheatly also mentioned how he and his team are already looking to the future of the Jazz FM brand, with a CD planned for release this month and concerts being organised in the near future too.
Story: Ben Mulholland

Having debuted together at the start of the cultural celebrations in Liverpool earlier this year the pairing of The Bays and The Heritage Orchestra returns for a tour next month. With support from the John Metcalfe Band, The Bays, a high energy hard improvising rock and techno influenced power group focused on the amazing drumming of Andy Gangadeen, never records so hear them live or not at all. The Heritage Orchestra meanwhile brings together a group of London’s leading jazz and classical players under the leadership of conductor Jules Buckley. The project involves active collaboration between the two groups with newly minted improvised scores beamed to the musicians via laptop. Tour dates are: RNCM Manchester (11 Nov), Sage Gasteshead (12 Nov), Colston Hall Bristol (14 Nov), Warwick Arts Centre Coventry (15 Nov), Philharmonic Hall Liverpool (17 Nov), Royal And Derngate Northampton (18 Nov), De Montfort Hall Leicester (19 Nov), The Anvil Basingstoke (20 Nov), Dome Brighton (21 Nov) and Royal Festival Hall (22 Nov).
 
Pictured: The Heritage Orchestra 

There’s just time to get your entry in for this year’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award. Worth £4,000, the prize is awarded annually to musicians showing talent and innovation for a creative project. It’s open to full-time students on a recognised jazz course or those who have just started on a professional career as a musician. Previous winners of the awards have included Empirical and Led Bib. Applications will be considered by a specialist panel and shortlisted applicants will be invited for an audition and interview at the Vortex Jazz Club in London on Monday 1 December. The deadline for entries is 24 October. To apply go to www.mbf.org.uk
 
Pictured: Leb Bib

Fresh from achieving a remarkable 700 per cent upsurge in sales for debut album Knee Deep In The North Sea as a result of the publicity gained at the Mercury music prize, the Portico Quartet embark on more tour dates next month. The hang-based group signed a new publishing deal with Imagem Music on the night of the awards and performed on the live TV show. Dates include: Purcell Room (London Jazz Festival show, 19 Nov), Phoenix Exeter (20 Nov), Sage Gateshead (23 Nov), Arches, Glasgow (24 Nov), HiFi, Leeds (25 Nov), Fibbers, York (27 Nov), Hare and Hounds, Birmingham (28 Nov) and Junction, Cambridge (30 Nov).
 
Pictured: Portico 

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