The ‘first lady of British jazz’ Claire Martin OBE and saxophonist Julian Nicholas have joined forces and combined their love of the South Coast and their professional jazz profiles to curate a brand new jazz festival to be hosted at the vibrant Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham. From Fri 23 January to Sun 25 January the very first South Coast Jazz Festival will take place. The festival will feature three days of jazz workshops, award-winning photography exhibitions, beginner’s guides to jazz and, of course a huge amount of world-class jazz artists playing live. Friday sees a jazz vocal celebration featuring Liane Carroll, Ian Shaw and Joe Stilgoe, supported by the Lewes Old Grammar School vox choir. There will also be a ‘singers masterclass’ featuring Claire Martin herself. Saturday highlights include sax legend Bobby Wellins celebrating his 79th birthday by performing alongside Geoff Simkins and the 7-piece ensemble Cloggz. Saturday daytime will be hosted by Kevin LeGendre of BBC Radio Three presenting his exclusive talk “Jazz for Absolute Beginners” as well as a “Jazz for Juniors” workshop. Sunday will see the conclusion of the festival with a celebration of the legendary Duke Ellington by Peter Long and the Echoes of Ellington Orchestra, plus the Mingus Underground Octet will be performing the songs of American bassist Charles Mingus. Throughout the weekend, there will be an exhibition of the late David Redfern’s work – a world renowned jazz photographer. Whether you’re already a jazz lover, or a total novice to the genre this is a festival for everyone and a rare opportunity to see some real legends on the South Coast. Tickets for Friday evening have already sold-out, so ensure you don’t miss out on this brand new festival.
South Coast Jazz Festival Fri 23 Jan – Sun 25 Jan The Ropetackle Centre Shoreham-By-Sea Ropetacklecentre.co.uk Southcoastjazzfestival.com