Thank you for helping to make the 2018 festival our best yet!

The streets were alive with live music and carnival spirit in Rye over the festival weekend. Audiences were treated to the sounds of the best Jazz, Blues, Swing, Afro-beat, Funk, Folk and Latin music. There was a real party atmosphere as music lovers, families and friends experienced the free street music at the Kino Cinema outdoor performance stage, the Georgian Butter Market.

Each year we raise the bar higher and always look to introduce new events to make your experience better and more enjoyable. We know that music inspires, unites and creates so much enjoyment for people and we hope you weren’t short of fantastic live music during the festival weekend.

The 2018 festival launched with ‘Funky Friday’ and not even the rain could dampen everyone’s spirits. Dom Pipkin & the Ikos opened the evening and the party continued with Hardlines. There were live broadcasts from our festival media partners BBC South East and BBC Sussex Radio and we’d like to thank the many artists, festival goers and local shop and restaurant owners for being interviewed and spreading their love for the festival.

Over the rest of the weekend crowds at the Kino Outdoor Stage, Butter Market and fringe venues lapped up free music from local favourites the Rye Bay Crew, Danny Boland with his country, rock and pop inspired sets, Latin rhythms from Neil Angilley Trio, solo Blues from Joe Corbin, Woodstock era psychodelia from Freak Flag Power Trio, Ed Holden and his smooth jazz guitar, party vibes from Capitano, blues from Catfish Blues Band, J-Sonics, Paul Richards Latin Trio, King Size Slim Sound, festival favourites The Violet Jive, The Fabulous Red Diesel, Derek Nash Funk Experience, steel drum band the Rhythm Makers, John Crampton, Mick Bolton, The Bling Crosbie’s, Nigel Bagge and Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou.

The festival is proud to provide the platform for both established and emerging regional talent to perform to a wider audience and we were very excited in 2018 to welcome Kung Fu Slipper, Pixie & the Gypsies, Jazz Wurx and June all winners of our ‘Call for Bands’ competition.

Fringe venues including The Grapevine, The Mermaid Inn, The Ship Inn, The Queens’s Head, The Elysian Centre, The Devil in Rye, The Waterworks, Simply Italian, The George in Rye, Old Borough Arms and Ethel.Loves me all hosted musicians over the festival weekend and we thank them for taking part in the festival. A special thank you to the Rye Town Crier for crying festival praises over the weekend.

None of the free music would be possible without the support and commitment of many festival sponsors, patrons and businesses from Rye and the surrounding region. We gratefully acknowledge and thank the following partners for their much appreciated support;

UBI International, Harvey’s of Lewis our Brewery and Beer brand partners, healthcare partners Benenden Hospital Trust, automotive car dealership partners Skinners of Rye, Blade Consulting, Kino Digital for the use of the cinema terrace, Rye Town Council for the use of the Butter Market, Rother District Council for supporting our free music programme, Beside The Sea Holiday Cottages, Bramley & Teal Holiday Cottages, Booker & Best Ltd, Wilson Wilson & Hancock Opticians, Stamco Building Supplies, Fairlight Arts Trust, Phillips & Stubbs Estate Agents, Country Property Group, Reeds Rains Estate Agents, EDF Energy, Pizza Express Live, Green Insurance Group, Jonathan Dunn Architects, Space Coworking, Gresham Technologies plc and patrons Barry & Lyn Nealon, Steve & Zoe MacLeod, Brian Bunce, Bruce Hayter, Helen & Nick Smith, David Barlowe, Karin and Tony, Lakis Sallas, Suzanne Lewis, Michael Burt and Roger Sexton.

The festival is also proudly working with two wonderful charities this year; The Music Well and ACT (Alchemy Charitable Trust) and we want to thank you for supporting these charities throughout the festival weekend.

The Outdoor Music Stage was kindly sponsored by Countryside Properties. Look out for their three stunning property developments in the region; Bloomsbury Gardens Sissinghurst, Herschel Place Hawkhurst and Regency Grange Tunbridge Wells.

Tony Momrelle opened the 2018 festival headline concerts and didn’t disappoint with his Soulful vocals and incredibly talent band. We’d like to thank Beside the Sea holiday cottages for sponsoring this concert.

Jazz FM Vocalist of the year Zara McFarlane brought her seductive, earthy and sultry vocals to St Mary’s Church on Saturday night. She traced her musical heritage from the Caribbean combining jazz with the pulsating reggae rhythms of Jamaica. Thank you to Brewin Dolphin for sponsoring this concert.

One of the Uk’s most celebrated jazz singers Clare Teal performed on Sunday afternoon. Clare brought her warmth and wit to the stage and the adoring crowd loved her show. This show was sponsored by Benenden Hospital Trust.

Courtney Pine almost blew the roof of St Mary’s Church on Sunday night. He had the crowd in his hands and up dancing in the aisles. Courtney performed his ‘House of Legends’ show with this talented musicians. We’d like to thank joint sponsors Blade Consulting and StoneRock Dental Care for supporting this concert.

Bank Holiday Monday saw the return of Ronnie Scott’s musicians this time in the form of the Blues Explosion. Their stylish show showcased the diverse styles and moods of the Blues. Thank you to our sponsors Benenden Hospital Trust for sponsoring this concert.

Joan Armatrading closed out the 2018 St Mary’s Church headline concerts with her one woman show. Thank you to UBI for sponsoring this concert.

A very special mention must go to the amazing festival team that made the entire festival possible. Our committed, passionate and professional team worked tirelessly to ensure that attendees and artists had a superb experience. From staging, lighting, sound, artist’s liaison, publicity, the bar at St Mary’s and event management – Thank you guys you are all stars!

We have some very exciting plans for the future and are hoping to announce some very special Christmas concerts at St Mary’s Church this December. Keep 13th - 15th free and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about these and other performances.

Thank you to local photographer Tony Ham for use of these wonderful images.

Courtney Pine Joan Armatrading Clare Teal Tony Momrelle Violet Jive Town Crier Tervor & Hannah Lou Crowd

Posted on 17/09/2018 by Ian Bowden

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