SMFA – Main Sponsor and Education Partner for 2015 Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival


The School of Music and Fine Art is excited at embarking on a new partnership – as one of the main sponsors and education partners for the 2015 Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival.

“Creativity and passion is at the heart of music which has a very tangible association with our exciting partnership with the University. We are delighted to be collaborating with the University this year and into the future,” says Ian Bowden, Producer and Director of the Festival.

Now in its 4th year, the Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival is established as one of the leading intimate, high quality boutique music festivals in the UK.

The initial impetus for the partnership with the University of Kent School of Music and Fine Art came from Kyla Wight, a student on the BA (Hons) Event & Experience Design programme (the only degree of its kind in the UK) in the School of Music and Fine Art at the Chatham Historic Dockyard campus. Having just completed her first year of the programme, Kyla was appointed Creative Director for the Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival, with directorship of a section of the festival entitled Chapter & Lyric, a unique and inspirational live music performance and educational project that encompasses both live performances and educational music master classes, encompassing Jazz, Swing, Blues, Soul, Latin, Funk and World music.

“Kyla is the creative driving force behind Chapter & Lyric and I and my team supply the blank canvas for Kyla to apply the many colours that will become Chapter & Lyric,” says Ian Bowden, Festival Director.

This event will take place at the stunning and beautiful National Trust property Lamb House which is situated within the heart of Rye. Lamb House has strong literary connections with both writers Henry James and E. F. Benson residing at Lamb House. Kyla is developing this connection between literature and music to hold masterclasses in composition and song writing as part of the festival, with a mix of established and upcoming musicians. One of the festival’s core values is to provide the opportunity for new music talent from across the region to perform to a wider audience. Chapter & Lyric will provide musicians with the opportunity to both perform as part of the festival programme and to also gain invaluable experience through participation within the scheduled Masterclasses.

Racheal Lawrence, 2015 graduate from BMus Music in the School of Music and Fine Art, will be one of the one of the headline performers, and 3 more BA (Hons) Event & Experience Design graduates are also working on the event – Beth Tabeart as Event Manager and Ross Martin & Sophie Sprowell as designers. The stage is being designed as a stack of books, with open books providing the proscenium arch, with Lamb House as backdrop.

The festival, which runs from 27 – 31 August, will create an-going legacy of education, inspiration, immersive and transferable work experience, International bonds, nurturing of talent and create the opportunity to be part of the on-going development of the annual festival.

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