BBC Music On The World Service With Cerys Matthews [world Service]

Episodes

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20160213

2016021320160214 (WS)

Meet Baaba Maal, the man who brought Senegalese music to the mainstream

Meet Baaba Maal, the man who brought Senegalese music to the mainstream

08/10/2016 Gmt2016100820161009 (WS)

Cerys's guest this month is the one and only Herb Alpert: trumpeter, band leader, and A&M label founder.

08/10/2016 Gmt2016100820161009 (WS)

Cerys's guest this month is the one and only Herb Alpert: trumpeter, band leader, and A&M label founder.

A Tribute To Allen Toussaint20151213

Cerys Matthews pays tribute to the musician, songwriter, and production genius Allen Toussaint, a key figure in the development of the sound of New Orleans for over 50 years.

A huge fan, Cerys was looking forward to interviewing Allen when he visited the UK for the London Jazz Festival in November. Sadly, Allen died whilst on tour in Spain and, so, the planned profile becomes a tribute to his incredible career.

With a precocious talent, and curious ear, Allen soaked up the sounds of his native city and childhood home. And from the second line of brass following Jazz funerals; and the percussive beats of the Mardi Gras Indians; to the blues tracks on the radio; and the Grieg Piano Concerto he learnt by ear, Allen was open to all genres of music.

But he didn’t just assimilate these influences, he was a true pioneer, and when inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, he was praised for keeping pace with musical developments and not allowing New Orleans’ old-school R&B traditions to die out.

He may not have been the household name he deserved to be but the roll call of artists he worked with - or who covered his compositions - is testament to his status as a musician’s musican. Snooks Eaglin’, Irma Thomas, The Meters, Glen Campbell, Patti LaBelle, Herb Alpert, Otis Redding, The Band, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello - and many, many more – they all contribute to the legacy of the Allen Toussaint sound.

Image: Allen Toussaint performs during the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

American Singer-songwriter - Tony Joe White2016121020161211 (WS)

Cerys Matthews' guest this month is the American singer-songwriter Tony Joe White. He was born in 1943, and brought up in the cotton fields of the state of Louisiana. Known as the Swamp Fox, he is best known for his 1969 hit Polk Salad Annie and for writing Rainy Night in Georgia, first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote Steamy Windows, a hit for Tina Turner in 1989.

Tony tells Cerys supernatural stories from the swamps, talks about his friendship with Dire Straits’ frontman Mark Knopfler, and takes us behind the scenes of the recording studio process.

(Photo: Tony Joe White. Credit: Anne Goetze)

American singer-songwriter Tony Joe White on tales from the swamps and Mark Knopfler

American Singer-songwriter - Tony Joe White2016121020161211 (WS)

Cerys Matthews' guest this month is the American singer-songwriter Tony Joe White. He was born in 1943, and brought up in the cotton fields of the state of Louisiana. Known as the Swamp Fox, he is best known for his 1969 hit Polk Salad Annie and for writing Rainy Night in Georgia, first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote Steamy Windows, a hit for Tina Turner in 1989.

Tony tells Cerys supernatural stories from the swamps, talks about his friendship with Dire Straits’ frontman Mark Knopfler, and takes us behind the scenes of the recording studio process.

(Photo: Tony Joe White. Credit: Anne Goetze)

American singer-songwriter Tony Joe White on tales from the swamps and Mark Knopfler

Baaba Maal20160213

Baaba Maal20160213

The darling of Chris Blackwell’s world music imprint in the 1980s, Baaba Maal became known for his fusion of pop and rock with African styles and has released over 11 albums in his career, spanning everything from traditional acoustic styles to big pop productions.

From modest beginnings as the son of a fisherman in the town of Podor in northern Senegal, Baaba Maal broke the mould from an early age, deciding to follow his passion for music even though he was not born into the traditional musical caste. But despite the odds Baaba has grown to be a household name, wowing audiences with his electrifying voice and live performance, curating his own festival in Senegal and collaborating with Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Tony Allen, U2 and producer John Leckie.

Now he uses his global fame to campaign for human rights while continuing to release his own brand of genre-hopping music and he shows no sign of slowing down.

Over the course of an hour Baaba takes us back to a childhood spent listening to his father’s call to prayer and his mother’s folk songs along the banks of the Senegal river. We hear about his early adventures across West Africa learning his trade alongside long-time collaborator Mansour Seck, meeting Chris Blackwell of Island records and his rise to fame in the 90s, and why he considers it his responsibility to use music as a tool for change in Africa.

(Photo: Baaba Maal performs in New York, 2009. Credit: Getty Images)

Baaba Maal20160213

The darling of Chris Blackwell’s world music imprint in the 1980s, Baaba Maal became known for his fusion of pop and rock with African styles and has released over 11 albums in his career, spanning everything from traditional acoustic styles to big pop productions.

From modest beginnings as the son of a fisherman in the town of Podor in northern Senegal, Baaba Maal broke the mould from an early age, deciding to follow his passion for music even though he was not born into the traditional musical caste. But despite the odds Baaba has grown to be a household name, wowing audiences with his electrifying voice and live performance, curating his own festival in Senegal and collaborating with Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Tony Allen, U2 and producer John Leckie.

Now he uses his global fame to campaign for human rights while continuing to release his own brand of genre-hopping music and he shows no sign of slowing down.

Over the course of an hour Baaba takes us back to a childhood spent listening to his father’s call to prayer and his mother’s folk songs along the banks of the Senegal river. We hear about his early adventures across West Africa learning his trade alongside long-time collaborator Mansour Seck, meeting Chris Blackwell of Island records and his rise to fame in the 90s, and why he considers it his responsibility to use music as a tool for change in Africa.

(Photo: Baaba Maal performs in New York, 2009. Credit: Getty Images)

Booker T. Jones20170708

Cerys talks to American multi-instrumentalist and Hammond organ maestro Booker T. Jones.

The acclaimed American multi-instrumentalist was born in 1944, and went on to lead one of the world’s most iconic non-vocal bands, Booker T & The MGs. The group were a key signing to the legendary Stax soul record label, and are best known for their trademark sound on hits such as Green Onions, Time Is Tight and the long-running theme to the BBC’s Cricket coverage, Soul Limbo.

Cerys met Booker on a recent trip to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in England, but she also delves into the BBC Archives to unearth some rare live tracks, and Booker’s many stories about Bob Dylan playing at his house, playing the ukulele, and whether the country music capital is actually Nashville or his hometown of Memphis.

Booker T. Jones20170708

Cerys talks to American multi-instrumentalist and Hammond organ maestro Booker T. Jones.

The acclaimed American multi-instrumentalist was born in 1944, and went on to lead one of the world’s most iconic non-vocal bands, Booker T and The MGs. The group were a key signing to the legendary Stax soul record label, and are best known for their trademark sound on hits such as Green Onions, Time Is Tight and the long-running theme to the BBC’s Cricket coverage, Soul Limbo.

Cerys met Booker on a recent trip to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in England, but she also delves into the BBC Archives to unearth some rare live tracks, and Booker’s many stories about Bob Dylan playing at his house, playing the ukulele, and whether the country music capital is actually Nashville or his hometown of Memphis.

Cerys Matthews with Micky Dolenz20160910

Cerys Matthews With Micky Dolenz20160910

Born in Los Angeles in 1945, George Michael Dolenz, Jr. became famous at the age of 10 with his own TV show. He has since established himself as an actor on television, film, and musical theatre, and directed a number of movies and music videos. He will always be best known, though, as the drummer and lead singer of the pop-rock band The Monkees.

Dolenz described the Monkees as initially being "a TV show about an imaginary band...that wanted to be the Beatles, that was never successful". The four actor-musicians, however, soon became a real band, going on to sell more than 75 million records worldwide. At their peak in 1967 they outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.

Dolenz reflects in his outrageously successful career with Cerys, and spins some of the tunes that have defined his life.

Cerys Matthews With Micky Dolenz2016091020160911 (WS)

Micky Dolenz, drummer and singer of The Monkees, reflects on his successful career

Born in Los Angeles in 1945, George Michael Dolenz, Jr. became famous at the age of 10 with his own TV show. He has since established himself as an actor on television, film, and musical theatre, and directed a number of movies and music videos. He will always be best known, though, as the drummer and lead singer of the pop-rock band The Monkees.

Dolenz described the Monkees as initially being "a TV show about an imaginary band...that wanted to be the Beatles, that was never successful". The four actor-musicians, however, soon became a real band, going on to sell more than 75 million records worldwide. At their peak in 1967 they outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.

Dolenz reflects in his outrageously successful career with Cerys, and spins some of the tunes that have defined his life.

Cerys Matthews with Micky Dolenz2016091020160911 (WS)

Micky Dolenz, drummer and singer of The Monkees, reflects on his successful career

Cerys Matthews with Shirley Collins20161112

Cerys Matthews with Shirley Collins2016111220161113 (WS)

British folk singer Shirley Collins on her new album and a remarkable career

Cerys Matthews with Shirley Collins20161112

Described by fellow UK musician Billy Bragg as one of the country’s greatest cultural treasures, she visited America’s Southern states in 1959, with American protest singer Alan Lomax, to collect songs by musicians in religious communities, serving prison sentences and on chain gangs.

Some of the recordings from this were later re-enacted in the acclaimed Coen brothers’ film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.

Her seminal recording is considered by many to be Anthems in Eden, released in 1969. The pioneering album was seen by critics as a forerunner to the electric-folk movement popularised by Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.

Still as enthusiastic about music as she was during her childhood by the southern English coast, Shirley recently released her first album in over 30 years, and she joins Cerys to talk through her remarkable career.

Cerys Matthews With Shirley Collins2016111220161113 (WS)

Described by fellow UK musician Billy Bragg as one of the country’s greatest cultural treasures, she visited America’s Southern states in 1959, with American protest singer Alan Lomax, to collect songs by musicians in religious communities, serving prison sentences and on chain gangs.

Some of the recordings from this were later re-enacted in the acclaimed Coen brothers’ film Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.

Her seminal recording is considered by many to be Anthems in Eden, released in 1969. The pioneering album was seen by critics as a forerunner to the electric-folk movement popularised by Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.

Still as enthusiastic about music as she was during her childhood by the southern English coast, Shirley recently released her first album in over 30 years, and she joins Cerys to talk through her remarkable career.

British folk singer Shirley Collins on her new album and a remarkable career

Dave Stewart20170909

Cerys’ talks to English musician and producer Dave Stewart, about a career that has been full of highlights.

Cerys Matthews speaks to Dave Stewart, the world renowned musician and producer. He made his name as one half of the '80s megastars The Eurythmics and has gone on to sell over 100 million records in his career as an artist, writer and producer. Just before he celebrated his 65th birthday we spoke about his childhood, his love of Blues music and of course his incredible career.

Dave was born in Sunderland, England, in 1952 and began his musical career in a band called the Tourists. When they split up he formed the Eurythmics in 1980, who went on to be one of the biggest bands of the decade. Since then he has gone on to work with Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Katy Perry, No Doubt, Jon Bon Jovi and even Nelson Mandela.

He talks about writing his first songs, how he teaches people to write hit records in 15 minutes, his strange experience filming Bob Dylan in London’s Camden Market and Stevie Wonder recorded a harmonica solo on his hit There Must Be An Angel Playing With My Heart.

(Photo: Musician Dave Stewart performs at The Basement East, Nashville, Tennessee, 2016. Credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Dave Stewart20170909

Cerys’ talks to English musician and producer Dave Stewart, about a career that has been full of highlights.

Cerys Matthews speaks to Dave Stewart, the world renowned musician and producer. He made his name as one half of the '80s megastars The Eurythmics and has gone on to sell over 100 million records in his career as an artist, writer and producer. Just before he celebrated his 65th birthday we spoke about his childhood, his love of Blues music and of course his incredible career.

Dave was born in Sunderland, England, in 1952 and began his musical career in a band called the Tourists. When they split up he formed the Eurythmics in 1980, who went on to be one of the biggest bands of the decade. Since then he has gone on to work with Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Katy Perry, No Doubt, Jon Bon Jovi and even Nelson Mandela.

He talks about writing his first songs, how he teaches people to write hit records in 15 minutes, his strange experience filming Bob Dylan in London’s Camden Market and Stevie Wonder recorded a harmonica solo on his hit There Must Be An Angel Playing With My Heart.

(Photo: Musician Dave Stewart performs at The Basement East, Nashville, Tennessee, 2016. Credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

David Amram2017031120170312 (WS)

Cerys’ Matthews' guest is the American composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist, and author David Amram. He has worked with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Willie Nelson and Jack Kerouac. In the early 1950s, he was encouraged to pursue his unique path by his mentors and giants of jazz Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. Now in his mid-eighties, he continues to compose music while traveling the world as a conductor, soloist, bandleader, visiting scholar, and narrator in five languages.

(Photo: David Amram)

American composer, conductor and author David Amram talks to Cerys Matthews

Georgie Fame20180113

British singer Georgie Fame introduced rhythm and blues and soul to the UK in the '60s

Born in 1946 in Lancashire in the UK, Georgie Fame is widely acknowledged as being one of the first recording artists to introduce rhythm and blues and soul to the youth of the UK in the '60s. After his single Yeh Yeh hit number one in the singles charts in 1964, Georgie and his band the Blue Flames went on to have a string of hits throughout the decade, creating a huge legacy which lives on today. Still performing across Europe with orchestras and is own band, Georgie joins Cerys to discuss his long and distinguished career.

(Photo: Georgie Fame circa 1964 backstage at the BBC's Top of The Pops show)

Highlights from BBC Music in 201720171209

Cerys Matthews' highlights includes Ray Davies, Booker T. Jones, PP Arnold, Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin20170610

This month Cerys meets Jane Birkin, the English actress, singer, and songwriter based in France.

Jane emerged in the Swinging London scene of the 1960s, before auditioning in France for the lead female role in the film Slogan. Although she did not speak French, she won the role, co-starring alongside Serge Gainsbourg, and she performed with him on the film's theme song - La Chanson de Slogan - the first of many collaborations between the two.

In 1969, she and Gainsbourg released the duet Je t'aime...Moi Non Plus. Gainsbourg originally wrote the song for Brigitte Bardot. The hit track caused a scandal for its adult themes, and was banned by a number of radio stations.

Jane tells Cerys about her relationship with Serge, their daughter Charlotte, who has also gone on to be a successful recording artist, and why she has chosen to revisit some of the late Serge Gainsbourg’s tracks on her latest comeback album Le Symphonique. She also speaks candidly about her marriage to the English composer John Barry, best known for writing the music to a number of James Bond films.

(Photo: English actress Jane Birkin (L) and French musician Serge Gainsbourg (R) at home in Paris. Credit: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images)

Jane Birkin20170610

This month Cerys meets Jane Birkin, the English actress, singer, and songwriter based in France.

Jane emerged in the Swinging London scene of the 1960s, before auditioning in France for the lead female role in the film Slogan. Although she did not speak French, she won the role, co-starring alongside Serge Gainsbourg, and she performed with him on the film's theme song - La Chanson de Slogan - the first of many collaborations between the two.

In 1969, she and Gainsbourg released the duet Je t'aime...Moi Non Plus. Gainsbourg originally wrote the song for Brigitte Bardot. The hit track caused a scandal for its adult themes, and was banned by a number of radio stations.

Jane tells Cerys about her relationship with Serge, their daughter Charlotte, who has also gone on to be a successful recording artist, and why she has chosen to revisit some of the late Serge Gainsbourg’s tracks on her latest comeback album Le Symphonique. She also speaks candidly about her marriage to the English composer John Barry, best known for writing the music to a number of James Bond films.

(Photo: English actress Jane Birkin (L) and French musician Serge Gainsbourg (R) at home in Paris. Credit: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images)

This month Cerys meets Jane Birkin, the English actress, singer, and songwriter based in France.

This month Cerys meets Jane Birkin, the English actress, singer, and songwriter based in France.

Jane emerged in the Swinging London scene of the 1960s, before auditioning in France for the lead female role in the film Slogan. Although she did not speak French, she won the role, co-starring alongside Serge Gainsbourg, and she performed with him on the film's theme song - La Chanson de Slogan - the first of many collaborations between the two.

In 1969, she and Gainsbourg released the duet Je t'aime...Moi Non Plus. Gainsbourg originally wrote the song for Brigitte Bardot. The hit track caused a scandal for its adult themes, and was banned by a number of radio stations.

Jane tells Cerys about her relationship with Serge, their daughter Charlotte, who has also gone on to be a successful recording artist, and why she has chosen to revisit some of the late Serge Gainsbourg’s tracks on her latest comeback album Le Symphonique. She also speaks candidly about her marriage to the English composer John Barry, best known for writing the music to a number of James Bond films.

(Photo: English actress Jane Birkin (L) and French musician Serge Gainsbourg (R) at home in Paris. Credit: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images)

Joe Boyd: Film and Music Producer20160109

Joe Boyd: Film and Music Producer2016010920160110 (WS)

American record and film producer, and writer, Joe Boyd, on his musical influences

Joe Boyd: Film and Music Producer20160109

Cerys’ guest this month is the American record producer, film producer, and writer, Joe Boyd, who shares early musical influences and career highlights.

Joe Boyd fell in love with music when he was just three years old, entranced by his grandmother’s playing, as he sat underneath her grand piano. Growing up, he listened to all genres of music – classical, rhythm and blues, jazz and folk music. And this open-eared enthusiasm led to the organisation of his very first concert when he was still a student. Joe simply found the number of the blues artist Lonnie Johnson, picked up the phone, and asked him to play!

And he has been blazing trails ever since. In 1965 it was Joe who plugged in Bob Dylan, when the American folk singer first embraced rock and roll music at the Newport Jazz Festival - in all its amplified glory! Just a few years later, he produced the very first single by Pink Floyd, helping define the sound of London’s psychedelic scene.

His diverse production credits include British folk luminaries The Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Billy Bragg; influential Jamaican band Toots & The Maytals; and the English singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who only achieved cult status after his untimely death.

As a film producer, Joe has also documented incandescent performances from guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, and the 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin.

Joe takes listeners on a fascinating journey with pivotal music to set the scene, from a recording of his grandmother, Mary Boxall Boyd, playing Brahms; to a beloved early jazz recording featuring saxophonist Coleman Hawkins; and Bob Dylan’s historic, electric, performance of Maggie’s Farm.

(Photo: Cery's Matthews (L) and Joe Boyd)

Joe Boyd: Film And Music Producer2016010920160110 (WS)

Cerys’ guest this month is the American record producer, film producer, and writer, Joe Boyd, who shares early musical influences and career highlights.

Joe Boyd fell in love with music when he was just three years old, entranced by his grandmother’s playing, as he sat underneath her grand piano. Growing up, he listened to all genres of music – classical, rhythm and blues, jazz and folk music. And this open-eared enthusiasm led to the organisation of his very first concert when he was still a student. Joe simply found the number of the blues artist Lonnie Johnson, picked up the phone, and asked him to play!

And he has been blazing trails ever since. In 1965 it was Joe who plugged in Bob Dylan, when the American folk singer first embraced rock and roll music at the Newport Jazz Festival - in all its amplified glory! Just a few years later, he produced the very first single by Pink Floyd, helping define the sound of London’s psychedelic scene.

His diverse production credits include British folk luminaries The Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Billy Bragg; influential Jamaican band Toots and The Maytals; and the English singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who only achieved cult status after his untimely death.

As a film producer, Joe has also documented incandescent performances from guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, and the 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin.

Joe takes listeners on a fascinating journey with pivotal music to set the scene, from a recording of his grandmother, Mary Boxall Boyd, playing Brahms; to a beloved early jazz recording featuring saxophonist Coleman Hawkins; and Bob Dylan’s historic, electric, performance of Maggie’s Farm.

(Photo: Cery's Matthews (L) and Joe Boyd)

American record and film producer, and writer, Joe Boyd, on his musical influences

John Grant - Us Singer-songwriter2016070920160710 (WS)

Cerys Matthews' guest John Grant has been on a spectacular journey, from a place where he feared he would never make music again or escape a life of addiction, to winning awards, accolades and Top 20 chart positions, and collaborating with Sinead O'Connor, Goldfrapp, Elton John, Hercules and Love Affair, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Formerly associated with the Denver-based alternative rock band The Czars in the 1990s and 2000s, John Grant now has three seminal solo albums under his belt.

He speaks to Cerys about the "persecution" of his religious upbringing, living with HIV, and his musical resurrection. We will also take a journey through the music of his life.

(Photo: US singer-songwriter John Grant attends the Q Awards, at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London, 2013. Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

John Renbourn2017010720170108 (WS)

This month, Cerys looks back at the remarkable life and career of the late English folk musician John Renbourn.

K D Lang20160611

K D Lang20160611

Cerys’ guest is the platinum-selling, four-time Grammy-winning, genre-spanning Canadian singer-songwriter, K D Lang. K D draws on a broad range of musical influences, many of which have been reflected in reinterpretations of songs by Leonard Cohen, Roy Orbison, Neil Young and more.

She has enjoyed chart success with her own compositions and has a song writing credit on the Rolling Stones track Anybody Seen My Baby? Her film soundtrack work includes Gus Van Sant’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and she has collaborated with pop and country luminaries like Bonnie Raitt, Loretta Lynn, Elton John and Tony Bennett, who described her as “the best singer of her generation?.

K D’s latest musical venture is a collaboration with Neko Case and Laura Veirs, which came to fruition after she sent an email to both singers, on a whim, that simply read: "I think we should make a record together." The resulting album is released this month and will be supported by a tour of North America.

(Photo: K D Lang performs on Later with Jools Holland)

K D Lang2016061120160612 (WS)

K D Lang on her career and her latest album with Neko Case and Laura Veirs

K D Lang2016061120160612 (WS)

on her career and her latest album with Neko Case and Laura Veirs

Cerys’ guest is the platinum-selling, four-time Grammy-winning, genre-spanning Canadian singer-songwriter, K D Lang. K D draws on a broad range of musical influences, many of which have been reflected in reinterpretations of songs by Leonard Cohen, Roy Orbison, Neil Young and more.

She has enjoyed chart success with her own compositions and has a song writing credit on the Rolling Stones track Anybody Seen My Baby? Her film soundtrack work includes Gus Van Sant’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and she has collaborated with pop and country luminaries like Bonnie Raitt, Loretta Lynn, Elton John and Tony Bennett, who described her as “the best singer of her generation?

K D’s latest musical venture is a collaboration with Neko Case and Laura Veirs, which came to fruition after she sent an email to both singers, on a whim, that simply read: "I think we should make a record together." The resulting album is released this month and will be supported by a tour of North America.

(Photo: K D Lang performs on Later with Jools Holland)

Lang Lang20160409

Lang Lang20160409

Cerys Matthews’ guest for the month of April is Lang Lang, a child prodigy-turned-maestro who, as an artist, UN Ambassador, teacher and philanthropist, is keen to enthuse the next generation of pianists.

When Lang Lang was just 2 years old, he enjoyed watching Tom and Jerry cartoons at his home, in Shenyang, China. He was particularly captivated by an episode called ‘The Cat Concerto’, featuring a piano recital, in a grand auditorium.

Lang Lang was impressed by Tom’s virtuosity. And, one day, when he went to the piano - and replicated the cartoon’s theme tune, in its entirety - his father knew that this was the instrument for Lang Lang!

Since the age of 13, he has performed in cities ALL around the world...for Presidents, Queen Elizabeth II, not to mention a TV audience of four billion, at the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

He inspires millions with his open-hearted, expressive playing. And, at home in China, he’s credited with inspiring 40 million children to play the piano.

Lang Lang chats to Cerys about his career, choosing his repertoire, and some of his musical heroes, friends and collaborators, including Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Vladamir Horowitz, Garry Graffman, Herbie Hancock and Michael Jackson.

Image: Lang Lang Credit: Rhys Frampton

Lang Lang2016040920160410 (WS)

Cerys Matthews’ guest is Lang Lang, a child prodigy-turned-maestro, artist and ambassador

Cerys Matthews’ guest for the month of April is Lang Lang, a child prodigy-turned-maestro who, as an artist, UN Ambassador, teacher and philanthropist, is keen to enthuse the next generation of pianists.

When Lang Lang was just 2 years old, he enjoyed watching Tom and Jerry cartoons at his home, in Shenyang, China. He was particularly captivated by an episode called ‘The Cat Concerto’, featuring a piano recital, in a grand auditorium.

Lang Lang was impressed by Tom’s virtuosity. And, one day, when he went to the piano - and replicated the cartoon’s theme tune, in its entirety - his father knew that this was the instrument for Lang Lang!

Since the age of 13, he has performed in cities ALL around the world...for Presidents, Queen Elizabeth II, not to mention a TV audience of four billion, at the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

He inspires millions with his open-hearted, expressive playing. And, at home in China, he’s credited with inspiring 40 million children to play the piano.

Lang Lang chats to Cerys about his career, choosing his repertoire, and some of his musical heroes, friends and collaborators, including Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Vladamir Horowitz, Garry Graffman, Herbie Hancock and Michael Jackson.

Image: Lang Lang Credit: Rhys Frampton

Lang Lang2016040920160410 (WS)

Cerys Matthews’ guest is Lang Lang, a child prodigy-turned-maestro, artist and ambassador

Lucky Peterson20180210

Blues legend Lucky Peterson talks about his incredible 50-year career

Discovered at the age of three by Willie Dixon, by the age of six Lucky Peterson had scored a top five US hit and appeared on the Ed Sullivan show.
Following a fascinating life which has included being mentored by Jimmy Smith and playing with the likes of Etta James, Bobby Bland and Little Milton, Lucky released his 20th studio recording last year which took the form of a tribute to the aforementioned Jimmy Smith.

(Photo: Lucky Peterson (L) and his wife Tamara perform at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, 2015. Credit: Eva Hambach/AFP)

Mulatu Astatke20160312

Mulatu Astatke2016031220160313 (WS)

Cerys celebrates Ethio-Jazz and the big brains behind it, multi-talented Mulatu Astakte.

Mulatu Astatke20160312

Cerys' musical legend for March is Mulatu Astatke, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and cultural ambassador who, in his 70s, is still busy touring and sharing his funky vibes with the world.

Born in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma in 1943, Mulatu was all set for a career in engineering when he headed to college in North Wales. But he quickly discovered a natural aptitude for music that would lead to further studies in London, Boston.

Mulatu’s music is firmly rooted in his native Ethiopia. But, fiercely intellectual and creative, he’s travelled the world to further his musical education. Along the way, he’s picked up new instruments, soaked up different rhythms and sounds, and created his own musical genre: Ethio-Jazz.

Mulatu talks to Cerys about switching from science to music; how he learned to combine traditional Ethiopian music with American jazz and Latin rhythms; and performing with his hero Duke Ellington.

With music from Mulatu himself. plus Dave Pike, Nas & Damien Marley, Frank Holder, Duke Ellington and more.

Picture: Mulatu Astatke

Mulatu Astatke2016031220160313 (WS)

Cerys' musical legend for March is Mulatu Astatke, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and cultural ambassador who, in his 70s, is still busy touring and sharing his funky vibes with the world.

Born in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma in 1943, Mulatu was all set for a career in engineering when he headed to college in North Wales. But he quickly discovered a natural aptitude for music that would lead to further studies in London, Boston.

Mulatu’s music is firmly rooted in his native Ethiopia. But, fiercely intellectual and creative, he’s travelled the world to further his musical education. Along the way, he’s picked up new instruments, soaked up different rhythms and sounds, and created his own musical genre: Ethio-Jazz.

Mulatu talks to Cerys about switching from science to music; how he learned to combine traditional Ethiopian music with American jazz and Latin rhythms; and performing with his hero Duke Ellington.

With music from Mulatu himself. plus Dave Pike, Nas and Damien Marley, Frank Holder, Duke Ellington and more.

Picture: Mulatu Astatke

Cerys celebrates Ethio-Jazz and the big brains behind it, multi-talented Mulatu Astakte.

Nishat Khan: Sitar Player20160813

Nishat Khan: Sitar Player20160813

As the son and disciple of Imrat Khan, Nishat is the torchbearer of seven generations and the 400-year-old tradition of India’s most renowned musical family. He has been dazzling audiences since the age of seven and his command of his instrument is unparalleled.

Khan has collaborated with major musical figures from around the world, including Philip Glass, Evelyn Glennie and Django Bates. He is now based in Beverly Hills, California, and works as a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. In this programme, Khan reveals his musical methods and major influences, spinning some great stories and tunes along the way.

Presented by Cerys Matthews.

Picture: Nishat Khan, Credit: BBC

Nishat Khan: Sitar Player2016081320160814 (WS)

Dazzling audiences since the age of seven, his command of the sitar is unparalleled

As the son and disciple of Imrat Khan, Nishat is the torchbearer of seven generations and the 400-year-old tradition of India’s most renowned musical family. He has been dazzling audiences since the age of seven and his command of his instrument is unparalleled.

Khan has collaborated with major musical figures from around the world, including Philip Glass, Evelyn Glennie and Django Bates. He is now based in Beverly Hills, California, and works as a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. In this programme, Khan reveals his musical methods and major influences, spinning some great stories and tunes along the way.

Presented by Cerys Matthews.

Picture: Nishat Khan, Credit: BBC

Nishat Khan: Sitar Player2016081320160814 (WS)

Dazzling audiences since the age of seven, his command of the sitar is unparalleled

Peggy Seeger - US Folk Singer20160514

Peggy Seeger - US Folk Singer2016051420160515 (WS)

How US folk singer Peggy Seeger became an instrumental figure in the British folk revival

Peggy Seeger - US Folk Singer20160514

Whilst travelling around the world in her 20s, Peggy Seeger received a phone call from the folk song collector Alan Lomax, who was in London and needed a banjo player. She eventually settled in London, where she met Ewan MacColl, a future musical partner, collaborator, and husband.

They performed together, organised regular club nights, branched into political theatre and activism, and created the Radio Ballads for BBC Radio, an innovative project that used real voices to tell stories about the working class British.

Since then Peggy has made over 20 solo records and contributed to more than one hundred recordings with other performers. In her 80th year, these energetic endeavours continue apace. In 2015 she won a prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Swim To The Star, an original song about the sinking of the Titanic. That same year, she helped mark the centenary of Ewan MacColl’s birth, and between gigs and lectures, she has somehow found time to write her memoirs.

Amongst the incredible stories, we hear some of Peggy’s own compositions, as well as recordings from Ewan MacColl and those of her brother Pete.

(Photo: Peggy Seeger performs at the Clearwater Benefit Concert, New York, 2009. Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Peggy Seeger - Us Folk Singer2016051420160515 (WS)

Whilst travelling around the world in her 20s, Peggy Seeger received a phone call from the folk song collector Alan Lomax, who was in London and needed a banjo player. She eventually settled in London, where she met Ewan MacColl, a future musical partner, collaborator, and husband.

They performed together, organised regular club nights, branched into political theatre and activism, and created the Radio Ballads for BBC Radio, an innovative project that used real voices to tell stories about the working class British.

Since then Peggy has made over 20 solo records and contributed to more than one hundred recordings with other performers. In her 80th year, these energetic endeavours continue apace. In 2015 she won a prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Swim To The Star, an original song about the sinking of the Titanic. That same year, she helped mark the centenary of Ewan MacColl’s birth, and between gigs and lectures, she has somehow found time to write her memoirs.

Amongst the incredible stories, we hear some of Peggy’s own compositions, as well as recordings from Ewan MacColl and those of her brother Pete.

(Photo: Peggy Seeger performs at the Clearwater Benefit Concert, New York, 2009. Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

How US folk singer Peggy Seeger became an instrumental figure in the British folk revival

Pp Arnold20171111

The legendary American singer PP Arnold and her incredible career spanning 50 years

The legendary American singer PP Arnold is this month's guest. Born in Los Angeles in 1946, PP Arnold was a member of the Ike and Tina Turner show in the mid 1960s and during a UK performance in the middle part of that decade, was spotted by Mick Jagger. Now fifty years into an incredible career as a performing artist, in which she has sung with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Small Faces and Roger Waters, PP Arnold joins Cerys today to talk about her fascinating career so far.

(Photo: PP Arnold poses at photocall for All Or Nothing in London, 2016. Credit: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

Ray Davies20170513

Legendary English singer-songwriter Sir Ray Davies on his career and solo album Americana

Cerys meets legendary English singer and songwriter Sir Ray Davies.

Ray Davies20170513

Legendary English singer-songwriter Sir Ray Davies on his career and solo album Americana

Cerys meets legendary English singer and songwriter Sir Ray Davies.

Rick Wakeman2017021120170212 (WS)

English progressive rock legend Rick Wakeman is Cerys’s musical guest this month

English progressive rock legend Rick Wakeman is Cerys’s musical guest this month. Rick famously played the piano on one of the late David Bowie’s most famous hit records, Life On Mars. In the late 1960s he was in huge demand as a session musician and also played on Cat Stevens’ worldwide hit Morning Has Broken. He later joined the ‘prog-rock’ band Yes as their keyboard player. Known for his flamboyant style, he continues to pursue a successful solo career.

(Photo: Rick Wakeman behind a grand piano)

Roberto Fonseca2017040820170409 (WS)

The Cuban pianist who made his name with Ibrahim Ferrer in the Buena Vista Social Club

Born in 1975 in Havana, Cuba, Roberto has established himself over the last decade and a half as one of the most gifted - and most popular - pianists of his generation. After making his name with Ibrahim Ferrer in the legendary Buena Vista Social Club, he was recently nominated for a prestigious Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. Roberto has mastered the art of combining jazz with the music of Cuba, with both its modern and traditional African and classical roots. His most recent work sees him accompanied by Trombone Shorty and Eliades Ochoa.

Cerys discovers his proudest achievements at the piano, his ability to create something from nothing, Plus, collaborating with a big star of African music, and unveils a surprising love of heavy rock music.

Image: Roberto Fonseca, Credit: Getty Images

Selda Bağcan

With a music career spanning 45 years, Selda Bağcan became a household name in Turkey in the 1970s for being a creative force in the Turkish music scene. Her brand of electronic, psychedelic folk has brought her millions of fans worldwide, including Dr Dre, Mos Def and actor Elijah Wood. She joins Cerys to talk about her influential career and future plans in music.

(Photo: Selda Bağcan with records)

Selda Bacan20180311 ()

Cerys meets legendary Turkish singer Selda Bağcan. Her electronic, psychedelic folk has brought her millions of fans worldwide.

Selda Bacan20180310

With a music career spanning 45 years, Selda Bağcan became a household name in Turkey in the 1970s for being a creative force in the Turkish music scene. Her brand of electronic, psychedelic folk has brought her millions of fans worldwide, including Dr Dre, Mos Def and actor Elijah Wood. She joins Cerys to talk about her influential career and future plans in music.

(Photo: Selda Bağcan with records)

Cerys meets legendary Turkish singer Selda Bağcan. Her electronic, psychedelic folk has brought her millions of fans worldwide.

Shirley Collins20161112

Shirley Collins20161112

Cerys’ guest is Shirley Collins, a folk singer who was a significant contributor to the English Folk Revival of the 60s and 70s.

Shirley Collins2016111220161113 (WS)

Cerys’ guest is Shirley Collins, a folk singer who was a significant contributor to the English Folk Revival of the 60s and 70s.

Shirley Collins2016111220161113 (WS)

Cerys’ guest is Shirley Collins, a folk singer who was a significant contributor to the English Folk Revival of the 60s and 70s.

Sinkane20171014

Cerys’ guest this month is the Sudanese-American musician Ahmed Gallab, otherwise known as Sinkane.

Sudanese-American musician Ahmed Gallab, is otherwise known as Sinkane. Born in London, Sinkane moved to Sudan as a young child before relocating to the US with his parents when he was five. He released his first record in 2007, and ten years later is renowned for his spectacular live shows and critically acclaimed records. Currently on tour supporting his recent album Live & Livin It, Sinkane joins Cerys this month to talk about his life and career so far.

Sudanese-American musician Ahmed Gallab, is otherwise known as Sinkane. Born in London, Sinkane moved to Sudan as a young child before relocating to the US with his parents when he was five. He released his first record in 2007, and ten years later is renowned for his spectacular live shows and critically acclaimed records. Currently on tour supporting his recent album Live and Livin It, Sinkane joins Cerys this month to talk about his life and career so far.

Sir Peter Blake20170812

Cerys guest is English ‘pop artist’ Sir Peter Blake, co-creator of the iconic sleeve design for The Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper' album.

The English pop artist Sir Peter Blake, best known for co-creating the iconic sleeve design for The Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, is Cerys's guest. As this cultural masterpiece celebrates its half century, Sir Peter, knighted at Buckingham Palace in London in 2002 for his services to art, tells Cerys about his career as a cutting edge artist, how he came to be associated with The Beatles, and shares his love of music, including key tracks and reminiscences from the album as well as his youth, and delves into his own much loved collection of jazz music.

Picture: Peter Blake, Credit: Getty Images

Cerys’ guest this month is the English ‘pop artist’ Sir Peter Blake, best known for co-creating the iconic sleeve design for The Beatles album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in 1967.
As this cultural masterpiece celebrates its half century, Sir Peter, knighted at Buckingham Palace in London in 2002 for his services to art, tells Cerys about his career as a cutting edge artist, how he came to be associated with ‘The Fab Four’, and he shares his love of music, including key tracks and reminiscences from the album as well as his youth, and delves into his own much loved collection of jazz music.

Sir Peter Blake20170812

Cerys guest is English ‘pop artist’ Sir Peter Blake, co-creator of the iconic sleeve design for The Beatles 'Sgt. Pepper' album.

The English pop artist Sir Peter Blake, best known for co-creating the iconic sleeve design for The Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, is Cerys's guest. As this cultural masterpiece celebrates its half century, Sir Peter, knighted at Buckingham Palace in London in 2002 for his services to art, tells Cerys about his career as a cutting edge artist, how he came to be associated with The Beatles, and shares his love of music, including key tracks and reminiscences from the album as well as his youth, and delves into his own much loved collection of jazz music.

Picture: Peter Blake, Credit: Getty Images

Cerys’ guest this month is the English ‘pop artist’ Sir Peter Blake, best known for co-creating the iconic sleeve design for The Beatles album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in 1967.
As this cultural masterpiece celebrates its half century, Sir Peter, knighted at Buckingham Palace in London in 2002 for his services to art, tells Cerys about his career as a cutting edge artist, how he came to be associated with ‘The Fab Four’, and he shares his love of music, including key tracks and reminiscences from the album as well as his youth, and delves into his own much loved collection of jazz music.

Sir Tom Jones20151114

Sir Tom Jones20151114

Cerys Matthews takes listeners on a musical journey with the help of Sir Tom Jones, a charismatic, natural-born performer for whom "singing is like breathing". One of Wales' greatest ever cultural exports, he got his first record deal in 1964. And, he has been entertaining the world ever since, adapting as the musical landscape changed, and selling 100 million records along the way.

Beginning with his early days in Pontypridd, South Wales - long before he became a professional singer - Sir Tom remembers dancing along to the radio in his mother’s arms and how his Uncle Snowy taught him how to overcome childhood shyness and become the compelling performer he was destined to be.

A huge music fan, Sir Tom also reveals the rich musical mix that has influenced his extensive body of work, from the Yiddish ballad loved by his father, to the exciting new Rock ‘n’ Roll music that turned his teenage world upside down. We also hear about some of the legendary musicians with whom he has “let it rip?, from the peerless star of syncopation Jerry Lee Lewis, to a like-minded Dusty Springfield, and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley.

(Photo: Sir Tom Jones)

Sir Tom Jones20151114

Cerys Matthews takes listeners on a musical journey with the help of Sir Tom Jones, a charismatic, natural-born performer for whom "singing is like breathing". One of Wales' greatest ever cultural exports, he got his first record deal in 1964. And, he has been entertaining the world ever since, adapting as the musical landscape changed, and selling 100 million records along the way.

Beginning with his early days in Pontypridd, South Wales - long before he became a professional singer - Sir Tom remembers dancing along to the radio in his mother’s arms and how his Uncle Snowy taught him how to overcome childhood shyness and become the compelling performer he was destined to be.

A huge music fan, Sir Tom also reveals the rich musical mix that has influenced his extensive body of work, from the Yiddish ballad loved by his father, to the exciting new Rock ‘n’ Roll music that turned his teenage world upside down. We also hear about some of the legendary musicians with whom he has “let it rip?, from the peerless star of syncopation Jerry Lee Lewis, to a like-minded Dusty Springfield, and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley.

(Photo: Sir Tom Jones)

Tony Joe White2016121020161211 (WS)

Cerys' guest this month is American singer-songwriter and guitarist Tony Joe White.

Tony Joe White2016121020161211 (WS)

Cerys' guest this month is American singer-songwriter and guitarist Tony Joe White.