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 10th year, the festival has become acknowledged as one of the best high quality boutique music festivals of its kind in the UK.

Ian continues to work on various creative plans for the future development of the festival, and a number of special events are planned for later in 2021 and well into 2022.

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

Trevor Spink

Trevor Spink - Digital Marketing & Event Manager

Trevor has been an active and key member of the Rye jazz festival family for a number of years.

He provides online web and digital marketing expertise to the festival and runs his own very successful digital marketing agency working with a range of high profile clients and businesses.

In addition, Trevor works closely with the core festival team in managing certain aspects of the festival where his knowledge and passion for live music makes an invaluable contribution.

Trevor has a beautiful 15 year old daughter called Esme and a Cockerpoo called Baxter who is often at his side on adventurous walks in the countryside and along coastal walkways.

He is also a keen sailor and loves the open sea and will soon to be seen circumnavigating the oceans in the future with the wind blowing through his flowing locks.

He is affectionately known as ‘Captain Trev’.

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 has an Advanced Diploma in Event Management. Throughout the year, Kate assists in the development, operations, right through to delivery of all the events, ensuring excellent customer service and quality.

Kate is a single mum to two boys and runs her own bookkeeping business in her day job when she’s not doing an awesome job looking after festival customers and artists. This women can multi-task!!!

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 9 year old daughter, Elysia and a high maintenance but hugely loveable Irish Water Spaniel called Hendrix…as in Jimy! - Connect on LinkedIn

Jonathon Bennett

Jonathon Bennett - Operations Manager

Educated at King Alfred School, North London and then at The Guildhall School of Music, Jonathon studied Classical Guitar. From there he studied in Sienna under Andre Segovia. To earn some extra money, Jonathon became Stage Manager at the Arts Theatre in London working with Pinter, Wesker and many other new wave play writes. He formed a blues/rock band, The Idle Hands performing around the London clubs. Long John Baldry, was amongst the many new singers who performed with them at The Marquee Club, The Scotch Club and others.

Jonathon then married, had three fantastic children and embarked on a business career that lasted some thirty years, importing and distributing textiles from Hong Kong, China and other Far East countries, before set up a small building and renovations company working with high level property and overseas clients.

Since then he has been concentrating his creative energy on photography. Recently, he moved to beautiful Rye with his wife Sylvia and they have found themselves integrating very easily into this kind, vibrant place and have very much enjoyed getting involved in the festival.

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.

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 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.

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.

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