The Rye Jazz festival is now in its 7 year of the festival. It’s been touted as one of the best festivals of its kind in the UK and is attended by jazz and music lovers from all over the UK and surrounding regions. This year, the world-class artists that will be performing, will be doing so in the ethereal setting of the St Mary’s Church, which is situated in Rye. The festival would like to highlight the various medieval buildings and artifacts that dot the city and town square. From the humble beginnings of a medieval market town to being recognized as the jewel on the south coast of England, Rye has come a long way. It is a beautiful town that has survived the many changes that it has gone through over the years. There is an incredible charm and mystic that the town possesses, and it rubs on to everyone that visits this wonderful town.
The festival programme was also extended into early September with two special concerts, with an entirely different concept, taking place at the iconic De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea on. The festival was also proud to have two concert hall artists Corinne Bailey Rae and Dionne Warick perform with us this year. We’ve never done something like this before and were excited about these new offerings.
The 2018 festival launched with ‘Funky Friday’. The rain gods were not very kind and not even the outpouring from the skies could dampen spirits. Dom Pipkin & the Ikos opened the evening and the party kept on going with Hardlines performing next. There were on-going live broadcasts from our festival media partners BBC South East and BBC Sussex Radio that kept the chatter constant and the public updated with interviews, live updates etc.
Critically acclaimed British Soul singer Tony Momrelle kicked off the festival’s headline concerts at St Mary’s Church on Saturday 25 August. He performed a mesmerizing afternoon show with his incredible band that left the audience in raptures. Tony has had a career that has spanned twenty long years. The guardian has compared him to Stevie Wonder and that’s no small feat.
Courtney Pine the world-famous jazz saxophonist and composer performed his new show ‘the House of Legends’ this past Sunday, the 26th of August.
Another act to remember was the The Ronnie Scott’s Blues Explosion. They played an afternoon concert on Monday at the iconic St Mary’s venue. The crowd was swaying and grooving to their tunes all night. They looked like a band in full flow and definitely at the top of their game.
The festival organizers 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. The festival will be conducting a heartwarming Christmas concert with the singer, recording artists and much-loved TV presenter Aled Jones. He will be performing from his wide repertoire of songs and from his latest album ‘One Voice’ along with a selection of seasonal classics to get us all in that infectious Christmas Spirit. Who doesn’t like a good carol sing along during Christmas after all?
The 16-piece Fidelity International choir will be playing some of their mesmerizing pieces along with the special and unique talent, mezzo soprano singer Danielle Thomas. Her bold voice and clear vocals along with her unbelievable range will be something we can’t for! She her debut on BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’ and sang Rick Wakeman’s arrangement of the song ‘Morning has Broken’. and will be a night to remember.
The Rye Jazz Fetival 2018 was a roaring success and with all the multi-talented musicians across the various genres that we were able to showcase, we can’t wait for edition 8. We’ve already started planning for the Rye Jazz Festival 2019 and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. Thank you for all the love and support and we look forward to seeing you next year!