Over 500 leading musicians from across the jazz, folk and electronic scenes have signed an open letter to The Guardian in protest at recently announced cuts to specialist programming on BBC Radio 3. The changes to the schedule were announced in early March and include the “resting” of Jazz Now (which has been on-air just under three years) and Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz, while the genre-hopping Music Planet moves to a midnight slot. But it is the reduction of vital crossover/experimental show Late Junction, from three nightly slots a week to just one, that’s particularly angered many musicians and music fans.
Former Mercury Prize judge/broadcaster Jude Rogers and Luke Turner, founder of online music magazine The Quietus, coordinated the open letter to Radio 3 controller Alan Davey, questioning the decision to drastically reduce the station’s niche music programmes, which goes against the grain of its public services commitments. High-profile musicians who have signed the letter include Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Norma Waterson, Shirley Collins, Tommy Smith OBE, Orphy Robinson MBE, Claire Martin OBE, Cleveland Watkiss MBE, Shabaka Hutchings, Nikki Yeoh, Dennis Rollins, Elliot Galvin and many more.
An online petition has been started to stop the cuts to Late Junction – click here to sign
– Mike Flynn