The Wire

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Sunday Feature: A Portrait Of Val Wilmer coming soon on BBC Radio 3

Sunday Feature documents the life of the longtime Wire contributor, photographer and black music historian in words and music

Percussionist Andrew Cyrille, publisher and broadcaster Margaret Busby, writers Paul Gilroy and Richard Williams (who worked with Val at Melody Maker in 1969), and her brother, the poet Clive Wilmer, are among the contributors to BBC Radio 3’s Sunday Feature: A Portrait Of Val Wilmer, produced by Steve Urquhart. Scheduled to go out on 4 March at 6:45pm (and available via iPlayer after), the broadcast coincides with the republication of As Serious As Your Life, Val's 1977 landmark study of free jazz, featuring a new foreword by Richard Williams.

Val Wilmer has interviewed and photographed some of the most influential figures in jazz, blues and R&B. Just some of the names she has covered since the early 1960s include Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Sun Ra and Albert Ayler, among many others.

In 2017 Val appeared in conversation with The Wire Publisher Tony Herrington at London’s Cafe Oto. You can listen to a recording of their talk in our audio section.