Intimate and inviting venues

The Grapevine at night

St Mary’s Church, Rye features prominently as a venue for the Rye Jazz Festival this year. This week I visited two distinctly different venues from St Mary’s which will be hosting a series of events throughout the jazz festival.

The Grapevine Jazz Bar and the Brewery Yard Club have much in common. They are run by two interesting, passionate and enthusiastic people. The venues are warm and inviting and different from one’s idea of a normal bar. The interiors are seductive, using deep colours and lighting to great effect.

Ollie runs the Grapevine, nestled on the brow of Conduit Hill. He says: “Our team at the Grapevine Champagne & Jazz Bar are incredibly proud and excited to be partners of the 2022 Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival! As a late-night venue which hosts live jazz and blues music seven nights per week, all year round, we’re naturally passionate about the music festival and keen to support the event as much as possible. An array of free live music performances will be taking place at the Grapevine from August 25-29 which include Moss, Peter O’Donnell, the Robert Reid Duo, the Porch Swing Blues Duo, TJ Johnson, and Mike Hatchard. We look forward to another amazing weekend!”

Jane Brook runs the Brewery Yard Club, Landgate, in Rye. She loves this space. Having been in the software world for a long time, the Brewery Yard gives her a creative outlet.
She revealed to me, “I am a great fan of Ian’s vision of the festival, and I hosted last year and it was incredible. The space just lends itself to performance. Artists love to perform
here because it is intimate and it has a really nice vibe. The bar area flows easily into the staged area. The venue is unique to Rye. It is opulent and yet a comfortable place to listen to music. I love the atmosphere and watching people enjoy themselves so much.”

This year the Brewery Yard Club is hosting a free jazz evening with the Terry Seabrook Trio on Thursday, August 25 and further fabulous, ticketed events at the club with the Benoit Viellefon Trio on Friday, August 26, award winning jazz singer and pianist Liane Carroll on Saturday, August 27 and the enigmatic king of bossa nova Earl Okin on Sunday August 28.

Ian Bowden, festival director, summed it up, “The festival creates such an exciting buzz and atmosphere in the town, and we want the local businesses, restaurants, galleries, pubs, and hotels all to benefit from the additional visitors who attend the festival. The festival is all about having fun, enjoying the wide variety of music, and exploring the amazing history that Rye has to offer.”

For information and to purchase tickets go to

Image Credits: The Grapevine , Kt bruce , The Brewery Yard .


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