an exclusive interview by Norman Warwick
We hadn´t seen each other in nearly four years, so I began by asking Steve whether he is a different person post-pandemic than the man I had known for fifteen years before covid was awakened.
In the sense that we now have different things to deal with I think we haven´t really yet made a full return to normality as it were. We have a new normality, and there are lot of people, including myself, who are still making adjustments in our lives to come to terms with how things are. I have the notion, as well, that although it seems under control in the UK, in other parts of the world covid still hasn´t gone away.
So, when you were last here, you were presenting a weekly community radio programme, the Hot Biscuits jazz Show, from FCUM, a phoenix that arose from the Glasier take-over of Manchester United. How did covid affect that role? Were there any procedural changes and is Steve Bewick, radio presenter, a different animal post-pandemic.?
There were some procedural changes for me and the station itself has been impacted, because the management team and the broadcasters haven´t been able to share the same physical space to discuss and make decisions etc. We pretty much lost all the voluntary personnel who were broadcasting our programmes, other than those on the the footballing side,… commentators, pundits etc.
You manage your output in a different way now, though, don´t you? What have you done and what difference does it make?
I think I was probably the last presenter to change, and I found myself as last man standing on a schedule of one ! Yeh, I now deliver from the mix-cloud, which actually is better for the regular audience as well as for any kind of floating listener. They don´t have to remember to listen in at a specific time every week now, because they can enjoy 24 / 7 access to the mix cloud and listen in whenever they want.
I know you put the link out as widely as you can on your facebook page, and I always try to include a brief synopsis of your Hot Biscuits content on the Monday editions of this sidetracks & detours daily blog. Does that link then take the listener to the start of a show, or do they drop in on the middle of a show and just follow it to the end.?
I believe that if they simply follow the link it opens at the start of a show, so its all quite neat.
So are we really referring to a cloud as we know it, up in the sky? And if so where will that cloud reach and where in the world can it be accessed?
No, that notion of that cloud is nothing but an urban myth. I think the cloud is a massive warehouse style building wired to banks and banks of computers, meaning that in theory it can be tapped into and listened to anywhere in the world. I´m wide awake when I record the programme but it can be listened to anywhere in the world at different times of the day in different time zones, so that slightly changes the way I present it. Because I have a jazz friend who works with a club called the Hanoi Jazz Lovers, who has promoted my show to her members, I have quite a following in Vietnam, but of course they are something like nine hours ahead of us, so I´m sure they prefer being able tune in at a time of their choice.
Why has jazz become your preferred music and why has jazz over the last few decades become such a global phenomenon?
For me, it is a genre of music I have become greatly interested in quite by chance. As Marlene has told you we spent several years down in Canterbury in Kent and I became friends with somebody down there and then found out he was very much into jazz, and also the blues,… the acoustic blues artists rather than the electric guys, and he got me into jazz. My second choice of music would always be classical and would particularly include Opera.
Finally, I know how passionate you are about your music and how much you love to share that love with fellow enthusiasts and how keen you are to introduce this music to those not yet overly familiar with it. So, with a world service from one link, how do you ensure that the world is aware of that one link?
That has become a self-imposed task. During lockdown when I had a lot of times on my hand I dedicated myself to creating as widely a comprehensive list as I could of jazz clubs, throughout the UK and Europe, in America and all around the world. I did a couple of reccies whilst visiting London occasionally, and on a two week trib to Tel Aviv which has a vibrant jazz scene that you published from my reports.
To create a comprehensive contact list also meant hours of searching on line and facebook etc but it was a good investment of my time, and now there are scores of clubs like the one in Vietnam where the members are all aware of the progamme. Because nearly all clubs want to offer as wide a service as they can to their members, club organisers were as interested in learning more about my Hot Biscuits programme as I was interested in learning about their clubs. Before lockdown I had simply been sending programme details out my facebook friends and some musicians I had interviewed or reported on. Now, though because I have developed a network of contacts I can get details out there all over the world, because club members are tapping into their own club´s web site, or a musician´s web site perhaps that is carrying details of the last programme I put on to the mix cloud.
By the time you publish this interview, on June 7th I think you said that will be a broadcast with Gary Heywood-Everett giving an insight into Linley Hamilton‘s recent offering, Making Other Arrangements. That broadcast will also share airtime with Michele Osten, Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra, Vega Trails, Phi-Psonics, and Anchormen Jazz Orchestra. There will be something toi interest your readers, I´m sure, so I hope they will follow our link and tune in, any time 24/7, and then tell their like-minded, jazz loving friends all about it and share the link with them at www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick
There is an obvious synergy between Hot Biscuits jazz, and the local arts scene in Rochdale, and my daily blog which follow sidetracks & detours through the arts and on most daily blogs carries your link. it was you who introduced me to the likes of jazz In Reading, Music That´s Going Places, Ribble Valley Jazz And Blues and to Jazz Times , and jazz In Europe and other media outlets, who now send me listings and press releases that have significantly increased my readership around the world. Hopefully this interview will return the favour by directing to you some of the jazz musicians who come to play here. So, I´ll see if I can get this interview over to Monster Radio here on the island and out into the print media of Lancelot and Lanzarote Information and by the time you come back to the island we will be being seen as media giants !
By coincidence as I was conducting this interview here on Lanzarote with Steve from Rochdale, our mutual friend, Graham Marshall (rom Rochdale was sending me an e mail to Lanzarote, to update Sidetracks And Detours about a concert we had recently publicised on these pages.
I was delighted´, said Graham. (right) ´by the way the members of the Rochdale Amateur Light Orchestra played to the evident satisfaction of our audience last night. It was probably our best concert evening yet, with the now somewhat enlarged string section making a real impact on the overall sound of the ensemble.
I would not only like to thank the players, but the audience, too, for turning up in such good numbers and showing their appreciation as they did.
We are now planning to hold a Jubilee Concert towards the end of August (I expect) with suitably festive music´.
Thanks for that Graham. Be sure to let us have details of your August event and we´ll include it on our pages and we´ll share it with our other media outlets.
photo events Meanwhile we havc events in different arts disciplines to look forward to later this month.
Ladren de Guevara from Art Space has previewed Sidetracks And Detours about the forthcoming exhibition Destinos Encontrados. This event, open to the public, will take place on June 9th at 20 hours at The Lanzarote Art Gallery, Costa Teguise. This is a new curation from from Art Space and Lanzarote Art Gallery that brings together three international women artists. From different geographies, with different visions and with personal languages and themes, they have found a common destiny in this exhibition.
They are three women, three visual artists whose languages of excellence have brought them to these lands where their art has found the place to be shared.
Marité Crespo, from Córdoba, Argentina, travels a path full of contents that challenge her, without absolute truths, expressing herself through mixed techniques including painting, engraving and drawing. Her work in art, both in abstraction and figuration, reveals her as an artist in the constant visceral and sensitive search for answers to concerns of our time in the face of chaos and beauty.
Ale Feijó is Argentine and lives in Buenos Aires. Her work speaks of the feminine universe, her emotions, corporeality and the bond she estgablishes with her audience.
Drawing is her essential tool, and her pencil the magic wand with which she builds a universe of the sensitive. She combines the technique of graphite with acrylic, transfers of digital images that she creates herself, inks, charcoal, etc. creating a language where she combines the classicism of drawing with contemporary notes in the composition and framing.
Begoña Lafuente, born in Spain, resides in the Netherlands. Restless and investigative, she lives art as a timeless conversation where not everything is said and the essential is not evident. It is precisely these meanings that she seeks in her creations to achieve a special complicity with the viewer, always looking for him to conclude her pieces. Begona´s work is a game of combinations, where materials, textures and colours, improvise new routes for the senses.