Gail Tasker previews the 2017 edition of this East Sussex festival.
The annual Rye International Jazz and Blues festival takes place this Bank Holiday weekend 24-28 August.
Now in its seventh year, the festival is located in the historic, picturesque town of Rye. This year’s programme contains an eclectic range of music suitable for just about any palette, ranging from R&B and soul to Latin and Cuban.
As well as free street music happening throughout the weekend, there’s also a host of international headline acts arriving, including American jazz singer-songwriter Kandace Springs on Saturday the 26th. As festival director Ian Bowden pointed out to me when I spoke to him, she is ‘hot property’. She has recently released a new album on Blue Note to great reception, entitled Soul Eyes. A talented keyboardist as well as songwriter, Springs cites singers Billie Holiday and Lauryn Hill as influences. She will also be performing at Ronnie’s and the BBC Proms as part of her short stay in the UK.
Travelling down from a bit closer to home for Monday 28 August are the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars. They are set to perform a special concert based on the club’s heritage, entitled the Soho Songbook. The regular house band at Ronnie’s, led by singer Natalie Williams, will perform.
Alex Garnett said: “We’ll be presenting a chronological history lesson, a hommage to Soho and its part in the music culture of Britain, and how the club is one of the few surviving venues that has been in continuous operation since 1959.”
|Ronnie Scott’s All Stars|
Other artists programmed to perform include the pop brothers Patrick and Gregory Kane, known as Hue & Cry, on the Saturday, the gypsy-jazz Trio Manouche also on the Saturday, and the contemporary blues singer Eric Bibb on Monday.
With a combination of live jazz, stunning views, and potential sunshine in the forecast, the festival promises the perfect atmosphere for a fun and enjoyable weekend.