Bank Holiday Jazz and Blues in Rye


Hue & Cry

The 2017 Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival takes place in the beautiful, and historic town of Rye, East Sussex from Thursday 24th – Monday 28th August, which also encompasses the bank holiday weekend. Now in its sixth year, the festival is a “must attend event” for music fans and is acknowledged as one of the best boutique music events in the UK.

The festival attracts visitors from across the country and the South East, and offers world class headline acts, free street concerts, an outdoor performance stage and many fringe music events, which makes the town come alive and provides the fun and vibrancy that resembles that of New Orleans. This year’s programme includes a wide range of music styles and genres providing the very best in jazz, blues, RnB, Soul, Folk, Roots, Latin, Cuban and contemporary music.

Headline concerts take place at the stunning and intimate setting of St Mary’s Church throughout the festival and include; Hue & Cry, brothers Patrick and Gregory Kane will be performing a very special ‘Stripped Back’ concert on Friday 25th August. To date they have sold in excess of two million records worldwide, and the duo made a huge impact in the late 80’s with the albums ‘Seduced and Abandoned’ and ‘Remote’. This special performance will include an eclectic programme of their classic hits, material from their awaited new album ‘Pocketful of Stones’ and contemporary repertoire performed in their own distinctive style with beautiful arrangements.

On Saturday 26th August, American singer, pianist and composer Kandace Springs who will be performing songs from her new album Soul Eyes with her her gifted Trio. There’s an increasingly loud buzz around Kandace Springs, the 27-year-old Nashville-based singer-pianist who combines old-soul jazz sophistication with a tasteful touch of R&B and pop.

Eric Bibb, Blues power house, headlines the St Mary’s stage on Sunday 27th August, where blues meets gospel and soul when he sings from a beautifully realised repertoire of soulful, gospel-infused folk and blues; a melding of traditional rootsy American style with a subtle contemporary sensibility.

On Monday 28th August the festival presents a very unique and special afternoon concert ‘The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars’ and the ‘Ronnie Scott’s Songbook’ live at St Mary’s Church. This fantastic show will take you on a musical journey of amazing music, providing you with an insight into the heritage of the world’s most famous and iconic jazz clubs. Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club and combining world-class live jazz, narration and rare archive images, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars take to the stage to celebrate ‘The Ronnie Scott’s Soho Songbook’.

Later on Monday 28th August, West Country folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman, graces the stage at St Mary’s to perform an intimate unplugged solo concert. Seth will be performing songs from the new album and other live favourites from his back catalogue. Seth’s eighth studio album Ballads of the Broken Few is a stunning combination of his dynamic song writing and playing, produced by Ethan Johns and the sublime harmony vocals of emerging young female trio Wildwood Kin.

Free music takes place at two dedicated outdoor locations within the heart of the ancient Citadel over the main festival August weekend, and to add to the great music and atmosphere, street food and bar facilities are provided. Other free events also take place at many fringe locations at local wine bars, hotels, pubs, restaurants, and freestyling brass bands also wind their way through the cobbled streets of the town during the weekend.

For more information and announcements please do keep checking the website We look forward to seeing you in Rye at the end of August.


About Author

I have lived in Sussex for the past 15 years and have links with many of the arts venues throughout the county. I am passionate about the local arts scene and, as well as providing reviews of local performances, I also preview some of the exciting shows and events taking place around the county.

I have devoted all of my working life to the worlds of theatre and travel so, when I am not on holiday somewhere, you can usually find me at one of our superb local theatres, or simply enjoying life with my young son.

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