Preview: Rye Jazz And Blues Festival

Rye International Jazz And Blues Festival returns with a fourth edition, with an array of internationally-known jazz, blues and soul acts appearing over the August Bank Holiday weekend

The East Sussex town of Rye plays host to its fourth International Jazz And Blues Festival from 27-31 August. Across the five days and four nights of the bank holiday weekend the festival will present concerts, films and other events at over 20 different venues.

The "boutique music festival that packs a punch," as the organisers call it, will feature jazz acts including GoGo Penguin (pictured right by Arlen Connelly), Andy Sheppard's Hotel Bristol, the Neil Angilley Trio and the Alex Munk Quartet.

Vocalists are present in force. James Tormé will celebrate the music of legends such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee in a special show at St Mary's Church on Friday evening. Liane Carroll, Theo Jackson, Emily Saunders, Gwyneth Herbert and the Ian Shaw Trio will all perform at the Spectrum Jazz Lounge.

Singer and drummer Kitty LaRoar (pictured left) will be at The George on Sunday evening, with pianist Nick Shankland. Bassist Herbie Flowers will make two appearances at the venue: a jazz breakfast and an afternoon tea concert. Rye's new Kino Cinema will host screenings of five movies including Ray and Dreamgirls.

Free gigs will take place at various venues across the town, including the Butter Market and Landgate, which promises a session of al fresco bebop from Jake Fryer and the Bebop Legacy Band on Saturday afternoon. The Fat Tuesday Second Line Band will march through the town centre on Saturday.

Wilko Johnson (pictured right) will headline the blues programme, with a gig at the Milligan Theatre on Sunday. Paul Jones and the Blues Band will be appearing at the Milligan on Saturday evening and Jo Harman, winner of the Female Vocals award at the 2014 British Blues Awards, will appear with her band at St George's Church on Monday afternoon.

This year there's a festival campsite as well as accommodation in local hotels and B&Bs.

Further information can be found at the Rye International Jazz And Blues Festival website where ticket bookings for events and the campsite can also be made. News updates can be found on Twitter @RyeJazzBlues.

Bruce Lindsay

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