From joyful soul to cutting-edge jazz and opera

Milos Karadaglic playing at St Mary's church in Rye
Milos Karadaglic playing at St Mary's church in Rye

Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival has announced a series of headline concerts taking place at St Mary’s Church, Rye, in Spring.

They include best selling classical artist Russell Watson who will perform an exclusive intimate concert on Thursday May 3.

Russell has sold over seven million albums, he performs all over the world to sell out audiences and is known as the ‘Peoples Tenor;’ a VIP package for this event is available which includes a pre-concert reception, premier front seats, signed CD and the opportunity to meet with Russell.

An acoustic evening with songsmith, broadcaster, activist and raconteur Tom Robinson takes place on Friday May 4, and this thoughtful show revisits the back catalogue of a master craftsman. Little-known gems sit alongside classics such as War Baby, Glad to Be Gay and 2-4-6-8 Motorway - interspersed with hilarious anecdotes from five decades on the wilder fringes of the music industry.

Avery Sunshine will take her audience to the most joyous of gospel and soul-infused heaven as she headlines at St Mary’s on Saturday May 5.

Avery is releasing her long awaited album in March 2018 and the festival is “delighted” to have enticed her to perform a rare UK date on her spring visit from the US.

Kyle Eastwood, son of screen legend Clint, and his hugely talented quintet will be delighting jazz fans with a special afternoon concert on Sunday May 6. With his band of young, English ‘cats’ by his side, as well as a very special guest – Stefano Di Battista, sounding more lyrical than ever - the double bass player embodies the vitality of an art which he reinvents with elegance and passion. Catchy and modern, In Transit has set the blueprint for a contemporary form of jazz which encompasses melodic richness and groove, but Kyle’s music still roams through history thanks to some enthralling Count Basie, Monk and Mingus covers.

The Iconic UK band The Christians is renowned for an endless string of soulful hits - Forgotten Town, Ideal World, Born Again, Harvest for the World, and many more - which they will perform in an evening concert on Sunday May 6.

The Christians enjoyed huge acclaim in the late 1980/90s both in the UK and Europe and over 30 years later they’re still going strong.

Their first album, The Christians, exploded onto the scene spawning the aforementioned hit singles, while second album, Colour, knocked Phil Collins off the number one spot. The band is still headed by enigmatic lead singer Garry Christian.

The “hottest guitarist in the world”, Miloš Karadaglić performs an afternoon concert on Monday May 7 as he continues to top the record charts and delight audiences. His first three releases on The Yellow Label achieved major success and turned him into “classical music’s guitar hero” overnight. His recording of Rodrigo’s concertos had the Sunday Times calling him “the King of Aranjuez”, while Blackbird - the Beatles album (2016) was received with unanimous acclaim. For tickets and information go to