Long weekend starts here

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Wilco Johnson

This year’s Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival, the fourth, features 48 events in an exhausting four days and five nights over the Bank Holiday weekend August 27-31. The events take place in six principal venues, the Milligan Theatre in Rye College, Rye’s Community Centre (converted into the Spectrum Jazz Lounge, open afternoons, evenings and later), St Mary’s Church (yet again a major concert venue), the George Hotel, Lamb House and – for the first time – Rye’s new Kino cinema (showing films about musicians and musicals).

Blues Band - for Charlie's jazz festival article
Blues Band

Twenty eight events are ticketed, eight just mean buying drinks (as venues include the Standard, the Ship, La Maison and the Old Borough Arms), two include dining (at the Tuscan Kitchen, with Andy Williams) and ten are free. Free concerts feature at the Kino Terrace, the Butter Market (under the Town Hall), the Queens Head and (possibly) in your street.

The Milligan Theatre will be featuring two blues legends – Paul Jones with his Blues Band (pictured here in a black and white mood) on the Saturday and Wilko Johnson of Dr Feelgood fame (pictured, top) on the Sunday.

Wilko was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in 2013, did an emotional farewell tour, revived – and is now recovered enough to both star in his “Kicking Back” tour and feature in “Game of Thrones” on TV as executioner Ilyn Payne. For more information and to book, www.ryejazz.com

Last week’s programme launch in The George featured moody music and even moodier cocktails which bodes well for the Jazz Lounge. More programme details will be featured in coming weeks along with some memories of last year’s festival. However if you can remember it, perhaps you were not enjoying yourself enough!

Photos from Rye Jazz Festival