Jazz and blues back at St Mary’s


Spring will certainly be in the air come the early May bank holiday, as an exceptional series of headline concerts will take place at St Mary’s as part of the Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival.
These special and eclectic concerts provide a unique live music experience with the opportunity to see quality artists in an up close and personal environment. Tickets will be in high demand so book early.

Russell Watson

The festival is delighted to welcome “The UK’s Best Selling Classical Artist” singer Russell Watson to perform an exclusive and incredibly special intimate concert performance on Thursday May 3.
Russell has sold more than seven million albums, he performs all over the world to sell-out audiences and is known as the people’s tenor. A VIP package for this event is also available, which includes a pre-concert reception, premier front seats at the venue, a signed CD and the opportunity to meet Russell on the evening.
Since being described by the New York Times as a performer “who sings like Pavarotti and entertains the audience like Sinatra” Russell subsequently released 10 studio albums, each one receiving more critical acclaim than the last.
Tom Robinson

An intimate acoustic evening with songsmith, broadcaster, activist and raconteur Tom Robinson  takes place on Friday May 4, and this thoughtful show revisits the back catalogue of a master craftsman. Little-known gems sit alongside classics such as War Baby, Glad to Be Gay and 2-4-6-8 Motorway, interspersed with hilarious anecdotes from five decades on the wilder fringes of the music industry.
Avery Sunshine

If you haven’t been to the church of Avery Sunshine then you are going to have to hold on to your hats as Avery takes you to the most joyous of uplifting, gospel and soul-infused heaven as she headlines at St Mary’s on Saturday May 5.
Avery is releasing her newly awaited album in March 2018 and the festival is delighted to have enticed her to perform a rare UK date on her spring visit from the US.
Avery’s ability to deliver stunning soulful sensibility, the possessor of thunderous, gospel-bred vocals and the talent to craft self-penned heart-to-heart content, this singer-songwriter can’t help spilling the truth in her music.
“Avery’s talent is zeppelin-sized, her vocals so rich and listenable . . .” The Express
“A radiant brand of soul delivered from the gut with a joyful smile . . .” The Washington Post
Kyle Eastwood

Kyle Eastwood, son of screen legend Clint, and his hugely talented quintet will be delighting jazz fans with a special afternoon concert on Sunday May 6. His band of young, English “cats” will be by his side, as well as a very special guest – Stefano Di Battista, sounding more lyrical than ever – this double bass player embodies the vitality of an art which he reinvents with elegance and passion.
Catchy and modern, Kyle’s band In Transit has many virtues. Enthusiasts will see in it the blueprint for a contemporary form of jazz which encompasses melodic richness and groove, whereas purists, as well as enjoying original compositions, will be able to roam through history thanks to some enthralling Count Basie, Monk and Mingus covers, not to mention Kyle’s favourite Italian cinema theme, which symbolises his special relationship with the film industry.
The Christians

Iconic UK band The Christians are renowned for an endless string of soulful yet socially aware hits including Forgotten Town, Ideal World, Born Again, Harvest for the World, What’s in a Word, Hooverville, Words, Father, The Bottle and many more. They will perform an evening concert on Sunday May 6.
The Christians enjoyed huge acclaim in the late 80s and early 90s both in the UK and Europe and they’re still going strong 30 years later.
They often confused people with their band name. In fact, it was just the brothers’ surname with absolutely no religious connotation.
Still headed by enigmatic lead singer Garry Christian (very deserving of the Daily Mirror’s description of him as having “one of the finest voices in pop”) Garry has only gained in vocal stature and wit over the years.
Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić performs an afternoon concert on Monday May 7 as he continues to top the record charts and delight audiences worldwide.

His first three releases on The Yellow Label achieved major chart successes around the globe and turned him into “classical music’s guitar hero” (BBC Music Magazine) overnight.
His 2014 recording of Rodrigo’s concertos had the Sunday Times calling him “The King of Aranjuez”, while “Blackbird- the Beatles album” (2016) was received with unanimous critical acclaim.
This concert will provide a unique insight into the process, journey and musical passions of the world’s most charismatic classical guitarist.
Classic Brit Award-winner Miloš has become one of the most sought-after concert soloists in the world, with performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall under his belt. You can expect a wonderful programme of Spanish classics, cool Latin, Bach chaconnes, Beatles arrangements and more.
For tickets and information please go to www.ryejazz.com

Pictures: Ian Bowden


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