Sunshine & Songs - Russell Watson at Tonbridge Castle

On Sunday 9th July, the Rye International Jazz & blues proudly presented the People's Tenor Russell Watson at Tonbridge Castle. Concert attendees were treated to a fantastic afternoon of world class music and lots of sunshine!

Paul Richards Latin Trio started the afternoon off perfectly for the picnickers who were chasing some cool tunes and the shade as it was nearing 30 degrees.

Festival favourite Liane Carroll played some well known songs with a twist - fusing Gershwin’s Summertime with a touch of Julie Andrew’s Favourite Things was one to remember. She also sang a number of Ray Charles classics such as Georgia On My Mind as well as her own pieces.

Russell Watson came on to an eager crowd, opening with O Sole Mio, the stage was set for a fantastic set of songs, with Russell belting them out faultlessly.

The People’s Tenor was joined on stage by The Fidelity International Choir, who provided understated harmonies and accompaniment. Choosing a selection of classics spanning his 18-year career and also from his latest album True Stories, Russell’s music varied from the likes of Mario Lanza to John Denver to Frank Sinatra. Songs from the shows also featured including Bring Him Home from Les Miserables and If I Loved You from Carousel.

Between songs Russell chatted warmly to the crowd, often laughing and joking with his accompanying musicians. He even managed to get the crowd to sing their part in a number of songs and everyone was on their feet with his rousing renditions of Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory and ended the afternoon with Nessun Dorma and You Raise Me Up.

We would like to thank all the wonderful musicians that performed on the afternnoon as well as our lead partners, Warners Solicitors of Tonbridge and Sevenoaks and our supporting partners Fideility International.

We also extend our gratitude to our media partners SO Magazines and the Times newspapers. We were proud to support local charity Hospice in the Weald who raised £2,233.12 with charity matching from Fidelity International.

A huge thank you to the festival staff, volunteers, professional suppliers, and photographers Alex Whittle and Tony Ham for all of the superb photographs.

We look forward to presenting the Rye Jazz & Blues Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and further information can be found at

It just leaves us to thank you for attending our events and we look forward to seeing you all in August at the 2017 Rye Jazz & Blues Festival.


What our Sponsors have said:

I can’t thank you guys enough, it was utterly fantastic. I had a brilliant day, as did my guests. Brilliantly executed, professionally managed and just so pleased that Warners could be your lead partner.

Warners Solicitors - Katrina Walker - Business Development Manager

Such an amazing afternoon, everything ran so smoothly from start to finish and we were delighted with the marketing and brand exposure that you provided to us as your partners.

Fidelity International - Vicki Haxton - Senior Manager Corporate Citizenship

Posted on 14/07/2017 by Ian Bowden

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