Jenny loves Jazz (in East Devon)

Organising a jazz and blues festival in the idyllic Devon town of Sidmouth, already home to the iconic Sidmouth Folk Festival. This confuses many thinking we have been running for years rather than this being our second outing, the sophomore fest. Sidmouth Jazz and Blues will be a triumph of sweat over cash, the tireless work of Director Ian Bowden.

My role is to support Ian but also I wanted to look at the demographic of punters and performers. How to get away from groups of blokes, bands of brothers; bring the sisters to the fore. This was surprisingly easy as a call out for female performers garnered a flurry of responses and shows how targeting female musicians is necessary and successful. You need to actively break down the barriers, review the photographs of publicity. There is still more to do but I am pleased that acts such as Hannah and the Affirmations, Alex Clarke, Victoria Klewin, Faye Patton, The Brand New Heavies, Aji Pati etc..are performing.

I’m excited about meeting Roland Gift, a childhood hero. Sunday 28th May 3pm, Blackmore Gardens. Free.

Barriers need to be actively broken, preconceptions smashed. I’m compering the weekend so come and say hi if you are in and around beautiful East Devon this bank holiday weekend. Weather forecast is set fair. The sea looks clean. The flowers are out. Let’s be having you.

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