2015 Festival - Fantastic weekend Attracted big Audiences

Thousands from across the South East and from as far as Birmingham descended upon the beautiful town of Rye over the bank holiday weekend to experience a stunning line-up of International Jazz & Blues talent at the 2015 Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival.

Festivities kicked off on the evening of Thursday 27th August at the Spectrum Jazz Lounge with the supremely talented Jazz singer and songwriter Theo Jackson. On Friday 28th the super cool singer James Tormé and his outstanding band delighted a packed St Mary’s Church with a polished show which celebrated the the music from Ella Fitzgerald to Nat King Cole.

Sell out audiences were treated to an array of world class performances at the jazz lounge during the festival with US Gospel Soul singer Avery*Sunshine, the wonderful jazz singer and songstress Liane Carroll, Kitty LaRoar and many others. Packed afternoon shows featured cabaret jazz genius Earl Okin, Cuban band Yon Sambu and Emily Saunders and the Latin Mix both of whom delivered an intoxicating mix of top Cuban and Brazilian music.

The late night sessions were equally impressive with stellar performances by Jazz Funk maestros Hard Lines, the incredible and versatile Gwyneth Herbert, Neil Angilley Trio and the Shez Raja Collective that thrilled the lounge with the funkiest base lines and eastern grooves this side of Mecca.

Shez Raja Collective

One festival goer said “My wife and I attended Rye Jazz Fest last weekend (we came down from Essex) and had a wonderful time. A great programme, wonderful organisation, fab music, beautiful location and venues, and a friendly welcome – perfect!”

Other standout headline performances included James Torme at St Mary’s Church and the incredibly creative jazz trio GoGo Penguin that stunned their audience with their own unique blend of cutting edge electronica jazz.

Sell out Blues headline shows at the Milligan Theatre were Paul Jones and The Blues Band and legendary Wilko Johnson; audiences were on their feet at both shows.

The Lamb House outdoor stage in Rye played host to the amazing jazz singer and BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal and her Trio to an appreciative packed audience. Chapter & Lyric a dedicated two day series of live concerts featuring the very best of regional talent, singers and songwriters entertained crowds over the festival weekend at this stunning National Trust property.

We were delighted to support the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust through our outdoor presentations.

Another said “Well done. My wife and I came down from Sandwich to Rye for the weekend and saw Earl Okin, Avery Sunshine, Wilko Johson and Jazz Breakfast with Herbie Flowers. Superb!!”

Wilko has the audience on their feet

Throughout the weekend the streets of Rye came alive with packed audiences enjoying many of the free jazz, blues and roots performances that took place at the Butter Market and at the Kino Cinema Terrace. The Fat Tuesday 2nd Line Funky New Orleans band freestyled their own blend of jazz and fusion with hundreds following them on their journey throughout the cobbled streets of Rye.

If all of this wasn’t enough, festival goers were treated to the very best in jazz at the George in Rye with wonderful intimate performances by Ian Shaw the UK’s number one male jazz singer, Dom Pipkin and the Ikos with their own blend of New Orleans Jazz and Blues and on Monday, the legendary and highly respected Bass player, Herbie Flowers entertained audiences at both a Jazz breakfast and jazz Tea.

Music performances at fringe venues were also packed with music lovers enjoying the hospitality of many local hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes where you could soak up the festival vibe and atmosphere.The weekend was rounded off on 31st with the hugely talented female blues singer Jo Harman at St Mary’s Church, and the finale big night party with the Dirty Martini Swing band and special guest saxophonist Derek Nash had a capacity crowd dancing to the early hours of the morning.

Music fills the streets

Ian Bowden, festival director commented; “this year is has been tremendous, every year we see bigger audiences. We are delighted that so many people attended and enjoyed the festival. I would like to thank all of our audiences, performers, sponsors, local businesses, partners, venues and our team for their wonderful support. We have some amazing plans for the future and we will be building on this year to bring you more in 2016”.

Terry Weston, Managing Director, Spectrum Financial Services, sponsor of the Spectrum Jazz Lounge said:

“We were delighted to sponsor the Spectrum Jazz Lounge and we are already on board and will renewing our sponsorship for the 2016 festival. The attention to detail, variety of performances and the marketing and brand profile that we received as a sponsor was fantastic. Sponsoring the festival also provided us with superb client entertainment and we have already established additional business leads and future opportunities. We are very much looking forward to increasing our business awareness in 2016 and being a lead sponsor of this outstanding event for the South East”.

GoGo Penguin at St Mary's

“We had to leave you lovely people on Sunday evening, but we had a brilliant time. Thank you for all your hard work and for bringing these world class acts to Rye” said another festival-goer.

We look forward to bringing more World-Class artists to Rye in 2016 x

** Images courtesy of Andy Field Photography **

More highlights, photos and video footage will be coming to you in the near future…..

Posted on 03/09/2015 by Ian Bowden

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