Rye Jazz Festival 2017

“Life is a lot like jazz. . . it’s best when you improvise.”

George Gershwin      jazz-player


Every year in August the small medieval town of Rye becomes the stage for a boutique music festival with a difference, the Rye Jazz Festival.

For five days, from August 24th to 28th,  Rye is swinging, Jazz is everywhere from street corners, pubs, restaurants to organised concerts.

The music is eclectic and the atmosphere is dynamic -…



Jazz music emerged in America around the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century.

Jazz is characterised by improvisations, offbeat accents and swung rhythms based on the mood of the moment rather than the written score.


African slaves introduced black music to America, combined with the music of the white European settlers it created new styles of music like blues and ragtime.

Black musicians began to jazz up the marching bands,  by improvising on the melodies.

Trad (traditional) jazz emerged in the early twentieth century in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans. Jazz soon spread away from its origins in the deep South, and developed  distinctive local styles throughout American cities. Louis Armstrong growled and bent notes in typical Chicago style and Big Band greats like Duke Ellington added another dimemsion.

Be-bop followed in the 1950’s with wild improvisation on solo intrusments, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davies are just a few jazz greats of this period.



The Rye Jazz Festival features many musicians following the footsteps of these jazz legends to entertain visitors in an  intimate series of free and ticketed gigs alround the town. The program provides a great variety of styles and entertainment.

For more information visit


An ideal place to stay during the festival and at other times when visiting Rye

Knelle Dower Studio B&B

For those of you local to us there is  Jazz all year round at the Robertsbridge Jazz Club. Every second Thursday of the month with regular and visiting players. A great evening out !

Visit  www.robertsbridgejazzclub.com   for more information

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