Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Sky Smooth Jazz Wallpaper

There has been a slight change to the Sky FM logo, so here's an update to the desktop wallpaper that was created a while back.

To get it, first click the image on the right to get the wallpaper up on your screen then click again to magnify to full size. Then right click and "Set As Desktop Background" (Firefox), or "Set As Background" (Internet Explorer). One size should fit all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chuck Loeb comes to London

Only a week to go until Fourplay's newest recruit comes to play at Pizza Express Jazz Club in London's Soho.

Chuck is to play four shows in two nights. Namely Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October.

At the time of writing you can still get seats for all shows. However if you want to be there call 020 7439 4962 or book online at Pizza Express Live without delay.

Chuck will be accompanied by Oli Silk on keyboards, Frank Felix on bass and Andrew Small on drums.

Keep up to date with all forthcoming smooth jazz happenings in the UK by visiting the Sky FM Events Page. You can also sign up for our mailing list on that page so that you'll receive an email when tickets become available.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Jeff Golub & Mindi Abair at Pizza Express Jazz Club

Jeff & Mindi start their four night run at Pizza Express in London this evening. Tonight's show is sold out, but there's still some availability for the remaining nights through to Monday (Although the Saturday early performance is filling up quite fast at the time of writing).

To reserve seats either call 020 7439 4962 or visit the Pizza Express Live Website. Tickets are priced from £22.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Jeff Lorber at Pizza Express Jazz Club

A series of six shows in five nights featuring Jeff Lorber at Pizza Express Jazz Club starts tomorrow night.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing the Friday show is sold out. The early show on Saturday is filling up fast too.

So book now to avoid disappointment at the Pizza Express Live Website, or alternatively you can book over the phone on 020 7439 4962.

Jeff is at Pizza Express until Tuesday 10th August. He'll be featuring tracks and signing copies of his new CD, "Now Is The Time". Joining Jeff will be Carl Stanley on Sax, Andrew Small on drums & Orefo Orakwue on bass.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Sky Fm Vocal Smooth Jazz is now on the air

Sky asked me to program a vocal smooth channel last year and I was initially rather daunted by the task. Mainly because the vocal material that gets played on most smooth jazz stations consists mostly of 80's soul artists like Sade, Anita Baker & Freddie Jackson, mixed up with the likes of Phil Collins and Sting. And most of the messages we get from listeners thank us for NOT playing those artists.

So I set about producing a channel that keeps as true to the smooth jazz concept as possible whilst steering clear of the aforementioned stereotypes. It hasn't been easy, but hopefully the result is going to be pleasing to the air.

Sky FM Vocal Smooth Jazz is now live. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Marc Antoine in London

Only a week to go until Marc Antoine starts his 4 night run at Pizza Express Jazz Club in London's Soho.

Marc will be accompanied by Oli Silk for these shows and both guys have a new track to add to the set. Tickets are selling fast but at the time of writing there's still availability on all nights. Shows start Wednesday 23rd June and run through until Saturday 26th. There are two shows on the Saturday night.

Seats are £25 and can be booked online at Or you can call the Pizza Express Bookings Line on 020 7439 4962.

I'm looking forward to meeting Sky listeners there. Hope you can make it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dave Koz UK Tour Is About to Commence

Dave Koz hits UK soil for an 11 day stopover which takes in 4 venues and promises to be something to remember. It all kicks off this Thursday April 1st in Milton Keynes.

Brian Simpson will be on keyboards and guitarist Randy Jacobs is also making the trip over from LA.

Visit The Sky FM Events Page for a full list of dates and links to all of the venues. Please note that some shows are already sold out.

Here's a video from last year at Pizza Express Jazz Club to wet your appetite.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Smooth Jazz in the UK

Although the smooth jazz genre has had a tough ride recently, things in the UK are beginning to look a little brighter. The saturation of Sky FM Smooth Jazz via the Internet and the re-launching of Jazz FM means that awareness of the genre in the UK is definitely on the increase.

The number of artists from the smooth jazz world that are interested in coming to play here is ever growing, and we've been able to spread our wings a little this year and take the Sky FM Smooth Jazz experience to newer pastures. So as well as Pizza Express Jazz Club we'll be visiting The Stables in Milton Keynes, The Forum in Norwich, Pizza On the Park in London's Knightsbridge and Pizza Express in Maidstone.

I've been talking a lot recently with Steve Quirk at Jazz FM and they will be attempting to add venues and dates in Manchester alongside the Sky dates wherever it's logistically possible.

Already confirmed are, Braun & Elliot, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Jeff Lorber, Marc Antoine, Jessy J, Michael Lington, Mindi Abair, Oli Silk & Brian Simpson. And that's all before the end of August.

Be sure to bookmark the Sky FM Events Page, as it's the first place to get all the news on ticket availability and prices. As soon as we have confirmation of further dates and artists we'll update the events list. You can also sign up for our email newsletters on that page too.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Another Smooth Jazz Station Bites the Dust

This week WNWV "The Wave" in Cleveland has flipped formats, pushing their smooth jazz content onto the digital radio platform.

Whilst this is potentially good news for Smooth Jazz, as whenever these changes occur people inevitably turn the Internet for their smooth jazz fix and an awful lot of them find us, the long term outlook is not particularly rosy as the genre itself is now becoming threatened.

The change at WNWV is attributed to the PPM (Portable People Meter), a device used by Arbitron, who rolled out the PPM, a pager-sized device that electronically records what the person is listening to. The information collected is uploaded each night to Arbitron via a modem.

I'm personally not surprised that the results of this device have shown a decline in listeners to smooth jazz stations (many more have already "flipped" as a result of the PPM data). I've lost count of the amount of communications I receive from people who have found Smooth Jazz when their local station has changed formats. They mostly say things like "Why didn't I find you before?" and more importantly "You actually play smooth jazz!".

In fact most of the mail we have received over the last few years has pretty much followed the same pattern. People are really tired with getting served up 20-30 year old tracks by Sade, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Simply Red, Luther Vandross, Phil Collins, etc in the name of smooth jazz. It doesn't have to be that way.

On Sky we play none of the aforementioned. I guess it's a bonus that in the case of Internet radio we can see when people tune away and of course we know exactly what song was playing when they went. It was this information that helped me produce and prune the playlist for my original smooth jazz project "Soft Jazz FM" back in 2001 (still the #1 smooth jazz station on after 9 years) and it was this information that I used for Sky in 2004. It took about a couple of years for Sky Smooth Jazz to become the World's #1 Internet Smooth Jazz station. We have been in the top slot ever since.

So I humbly submit that there's nothing wrong with the genre, it's the station playlists that are killing smooth jazz.