World class jazz heads to Rye


In two months’ time Rye will host a festival featuring the best in jazz, blues, soul, funk, R’n’B, Latin and world music. Festival director Ian Bowden has secured a wealth of talent for this year’s festival which takes place August 27-31.

Headline acts include Paul Jones, former lead singer of Manfred Mann, and his blues band as well as Wilko Johnson who fronted ground-breaking band Dr Feelgood. The array of talent will include Manchester jazz/electronica band GoGoPenguin and jazz and swing singer James Tormé  who will celebrate in song jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Peggy Lee as well as his own father, the award-winning Mel Tormé.

Ian Shaw performing at St Mary's last year
Ian Shaw performing at St Mary’s last year

Theo Jackson, who proved to be such a hit last year, will be returning, as will the UK’s best male jazz vocalist, the incredible Ian Shaw, and the purrfectly divine Kitty LaRoar.

A special feature will be the Spectrum Jazz Lounge described by Bowden as “a dedicated and stylish venue that transports you to an intimate New York jazz club within the heart of Rye.”

There will be five special screenings at the Kino including “Ray”, the film based on the life of Ray Charles, “Dream Girls”, “Bayou Maharajah”, a documentary about New Orleans pianist James Booker and “The Sound after the Storm”, which tells of the musical rebirth after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, ten years ago.

Everyone loves the free concerts at the Butter Market and there will be several of those this year. The “Fat Tuesday 2nd Line” marching band from Hastings will take to the streets on Saturday August 29.

This year’s festival looks set to be the best yet – for more details and to book tickets go to the festival website, and for film screenings contact Kino.

Sell out piano trio GoGoPenguin will be performing at this year's festival
Sell out piano trio GoGoPenguin will be performing at this year’s festival




Photo of Ian Shaw by Tony McLaughlin, other pictures by courtesy of Ian Bowden, Jazz Festival director

Previous article‘All at Sea’ in art gallery
Next articleChurches dedicate Scout centre