Core Team

Ian Bowden

Ian Bowden - Festival Director

Ian is a highly motivated, experienced and creative producer.

In 2012 Ian launched the first Rye international jazz and blues festival which has been a personal ambition and vision. Now in it’s 8th year, the festival has become acknowledged as one of the best high quality boutique music festivals of its kind in the UK.

Ian has already started work on various creative plans for the future development of the festival, and a number of special events are planned for later in 2019 and into 2020.

With over 15 years experience in the arts and entertainment industry; projects that Ian has produced have included indoor and outdoor music concerts and many corporate & charity events. His career history in this industry is particularly focused on jazz, soul and blues. Ian has worked with artists including Simply Red, Curtis Stigers, The Isley Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Randy Crawford and Amy Winehouse to name but a few. - Connect on LinkedIn

Lauren Moody

Lauren Moody - Production & Event Management

Lauren has been working with the festival since 2015 and has recently moved into a production role. She’s an experienced event and project manager with a history of successfully delivering large scale corporate events through to intimate parties. She feels right at home looking after the artists, festival team and our festival goers.

Lauren has over 10 years experience as a project manager in the Financial sector and since becoming a mum no turns her hand to more bespoke festivities in the entertainment and arts industry.

Lauren has a passion for travel, music and food and lives with her husband, two little girls and her jazz loving dog ‘Alfie’ in Kent. - Connect on LinkedIn

Nick Forman

Nick Forman - Business Development & Event Manager

Nick has been an integral team member of the festival for a number years and is now spearheading a new and exciting role as the festivals business development manager.

Nick is responsible for the commercial business development of the festival working closely with Ian Bowden the festival director in building mutually beneficial marketing and sponsorship partnerships with regional and UK based organisations.

Nick also looks after our private patronage scheme working with many private individuals that wish to take up the superb benefits associated with supporting the festival as a patron.

Formally a professional musician, Nick has always been a keen supporter and sponsor of the festival and being a resident of Rye appreciates the creative and economic benefits which the festival provides to the beautiful and historic town of Rye.

Nick is also very much involved in the overall planning and event management of the festival and takes a lead role in logistics, customer service and overseeing a number of live music performance aspects.

Nick is very personable and hardworking and enjoys the setting up and running of various festival venues.

He is delighted to be part of this professional and dedicated team who all work so hard to make sure the festival moves from strength to strength.

Please do contact Nick directly as he would be delighted to provide you with further information regarding the very exciting sponsorship and private patron options that are available.

Vicki Haxton

Vicki Haxton - Financial & Marketing Manager

Vicki has over 15 years events & marketing experience and has combined her experience with her passion for the charitable sector.

Vicki looks after the financial side of the festival and also lends her expertise to marketing and event management.

Vicki is married to Ian they have a 6 year old daughter, Elysia and a soppy chocolate Labrador called Hershey. - Connect on LinkedIn

Kate Glover

Kate Glover - Event Manager

​Kate has been a fundamental part of the festival team since 2015, managing our Live at St Mary’s Series of events and much of the street festival logistics - she loves a high viz!

Kate is mum to two boys, an accountant in her day job when she’s not doing an awesome job looking after festival customers and artists.

John Bryant

John Bryant - Technical Manager

John is the festival’s production manager, looking after all of the sound, staging and lighting requirements for events at the festival.

John’s runs a very successful production company called On-Stage and works all over the UK and internationally providing logistical support for major music events, conferences and exhibitions.

John lives locally to Rye and has worked with the festival since it was launched in 2012.

John Griffiths

John Griffiths - Security

An energetic, friendly security professional who has a proven track record of safeguarding a clients property and exemplary customer service.

John is an excellent front of house/security manager and enjoys working for the festival and always ensures customers receive the best possible service and a warm welcome.

Jane Mills

Jane Mills - Hospitality Manager

Jane has a wealth of hospitality and customer service experience and uses both constantly during the festival! She focuses on looking after our headline artists

Jane is always cheery and nothing is too much bother - we love her!

If you see her around say ‘Hi’!

Roma Turner

Roma Turner - Hospitality Manager

​Our lovely Roma has lots of experience in the teaching profession and the merchant Navy. She really keeps things ‘Ship Shape’!

After years sailing around the world on the QE2 she settled in Sussex and we sure are glad she did!

Roma is a real team player, loves working with people, music and laughter - perfect pairing for Rye Jazz & Blues Festival.

Michael Burt

Michael Burt - Consultant

Michael is a qualified engineer and has worked within the specialised field of Vibration Testing primarily in the aerospace, automotive and consumer product industries. This profession has enabled him to travel worldwide as a Sales Director. With over 40 years of experience he is still working as a highly-regarded consultant in Europe.

Michael lived in Brede as a child and attended school in Rye. He has an affinity with the town having spent many hours of his youth at the Rye Boys Club and later in life frequenting the towns best ‘watering-holes’. He also played football for Rye United.

Michael enjoys all genres of music but his favourites include Swing and Classical, in particular the legendary Frank Sinatra and Pavarotti. Michael is married with two sons and four grand-children. He is delighted to be included as part of the Rye Jazz Team.

Tim Cocking

Tim Cocking - Consultant

Tim is our “background man” and consultant. Part of the team from day one, a sounding board, adviser and a bit of a business guru to Ian. As well as a good mate.

Tim is particularly interested in new musicians who draw on jazz and funk traditions, but craft their talent to the new generation of fans and has a strong background of the music business, principally as a tour organiser/travel agent.

Tim has worked with major record companies including EMI, Chrysalis, and PWL (Stock Aitken Waterman). In the 80’s/90’s, Tim’s travel team handled the logistics of European tours for major artists including Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, Spandau Ballet, Boz Scaggs and a lot more.

Tim has also organised major corporate events and conferences worldwide. His company, vca Consultancy, has specialised for the last 16 years in providing onsite services to companies attending the major festivals in Cannes. Clients include Sky, Freemantle, Savills, JWT and Havas.

Tim divides his time between Rye and Provence.

Katrina Walker

Katrina Walker - Customer Experience Volunteer

Katrina joined the festival team following her firm’s sponsorship of Russell Watson in the fabulous grounds of Tonbridge Castle in 2017.

Katrina loves to meet and greet our festival visitors, VIPs and artists, so front of house is the best ever place for her to be. That said, she has been seen wearing high viz and carting chairs, so mucking in with the rest of the team is just as important to her.

Katrina lives in East Sussex and by day is the business development and client care manager for a Kent law firm, so for her, making sure everyone’s experience is ‘one to remember’, is always top of her list.

This lady will always welcome you with a smile.

Sue Forman

Sue Forman - Customer Experience Volunteer

Sue Forman lives in Rye and has worked as an Estate Agent for many years. She is a ‘people person’ with a passion for a wide variety of music.

She is a keen supporter and patron of the festival and whether she’s rolling up her sleeves at the hospitality events, ushering people to their seats or marshalling at the outdoor concerts, she always has a smile on her face and the willing to help make the Jazz and Blues festival the huge success it is.

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