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There’s now a jazz, funk and soul radio station operating out of Ireland

There’s now a jazz, funk and soul radio station operating out of Ireland


That’s right.

The station formerly known as Jazz FM in Ireland which operated has relaunched as Head Wax FM.

A former pirate station run by Ollie Dowling from 1995 to 2004, Jazz FM’s reemergence is down to time created by the pandemic. Head Wax was the name of the show that ran on Jazz FM and it now gives this new online station its name.

The site promises jazz, soul, funk and “future beats”.

The site’s about page explains the journey:

I’ve always loved listening to radio and music, going as far back as when I was a teenager listening to Radio Luxembourg, the BBC World Service, and late night radio DJ’s. I got my first taste of broadcasting in the Summer of 1980, on a local radio station, and I was hooked for life along with my passion for collecting records.

I arrived in Dublin in October 1986, and started working as a DJ around the city, soon finding myself with a residency at the infamous Pink Elephant nightclub and presenting and producing on some of the early pirate stations.The music I played was always jazz, funk, soul, Latin and disco music, steering clear of mainstream chart music, and keeping with a more ‘underground’ sound that was coming out of the London and New York clubs of the time.

I then moved into promoting club nights of my own, while in July of 1995 I decided to launch my own ‘pirate’ radio station, calling it Jazz Fm, little did I know it would last 9 years on Dublin’s airwaves. I did this, because all the other stations on air at the time, were just playing chart and dance music, and from talking to people coming to the club nights they were looking to hear jazz, funk and soul music all week long, not just for 4 hours on a weekend night, remember this was long before the Internet or radio apps came to be part of everyone’s life, so good music was quite hard to come by.

In 2000, i applied for a legal FM licence, but the authorities decided to give it to a country & western music station.They did say that there would be another FM licence available within 18 months, but after waiting for 4 years I decided to take the station off the air, much to the dismay of a loyal listenership (averaging 50,000 a day), and 21 years later, I’m still waiting! I then moved in another new direction, this time promoting live music, primarily jazz and soul standards with a female singer accompanied by piano or guitar, turning restaurants into late night speakeasy clubs. 

Then the Covid 19 pandemic arrived along with a countrywide lockdown, ending live music sessions and vinyl bar DJ sets overnight. During lockdown, I spent a lot of time listening to music from my own collection but also to other online radio stations and various DJ podcasts and what I found is that it all sounded very like Jazz FM back when we were on air from 1995 until 2004. With people spending more time at home working and with family, and our lives greatly changed because of the virus, it’s great to see some people have turned back to listening to music and radio again, as they quickly got tired of watching Netflix, and endlessly scrolling on their phones. They have been listening to the classic dusty grooves and loving the nostalgia, but also discovering all the new music that is out there.

Good music is now really essential for your mental health and well being, and it’s the best escapism I can think of. For many years, former listeners to Jazz Fm often contacted me about putting the station back on air, but i was just too busy with other projects, but now with the ending of live music and DJ bar sets, I thought there was no better time than now to go back on the air! Head Wax was the programme I presented on Jazz FM every week for 9 years, playing a cutting edge selection of future sounds of jazz. Sunday’s just haven’t been the same since…

So, I thought it a good name for the radio station, especially as the music will be for your mind, body and soul, and your dancing feet so Head Wax Radio was born. 

Listen to Head Wax here.

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