The Hot Box sets the best of Irish recorded jazz in the wider context of the universal language that is jazz worldwide. It tries to emphasise accessability and sheer enjoyment, and is building an audience well beyond the shores of its home country.
Donald Helme presented Jazz Alley and its less well-known predecessor The Far Side of the Tracks, on RTE for some 19 years. Like The Hot Box, they were aimed at a wide spectrum of people at both the core and the fringe of the jazz audience. The most satisfying responses that Donald has received over the years come from people who say they didn’t know anything about jazz but have now become regular fans.
Donald is not a musician but has been a fan for many decades, fortunate enough to have listened live, and in many cases to have spent time with, some of the legendary figures in jazz history. Hopefully, as he says, he has managed to develop good ears and some judgement over that time!