Judy Collins and The James Taylor Quartet: fantastic folk and jazz in Hastings

Judy Collins. Photograph by Brad Trent
Judy Collins. Photograph by Brad Trent

The Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival presents two special concerts in the wonderful setting of St Mary In The Castle, Hastings, in January.

Festival director and producer Ian Bowden said: “On Thursday, January 23, the legendary American singer Judy Collins will be performing a rare and intimate concert as part of her European tour. You can hear one of the world’s most respected, iconic and legendary female artists in an up-close and personal setting.

The James Taylor Quartet

The James Taylor Quartet

“The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ from her landmark 1967 album Wildflowers has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

“Five decades later, Judy Collins’ luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and get inspiration from her spiritual discipline that let her thrive in the music industry for half a century.

“Judy’s dreamy and sweetly intimate version of ‘Send in the Clowns’, a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Music, won ‘Song of the Year’ at the 1975 Grammy Awards.

“She’s garnered several top-ten hits, gold and platinum-selling albums. Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honoured her legacy with the album Born to the Breed.

The Fabulous Red Diesel. Photograph by Chuckypics

The Fabulous Red Diesel. Photograph by Chuckypics

“Saturday, January 25, is party night as acid jazz giants The James Taylor Quartet (JTQ) take to the stage at St Mary In The Castle.

“JTQ are a highly acclaimed British four-piece jazz-funk band and for over 30 years they have set the standard for the coolest sounds in funky acid jazz.

“They have recorded dozens of mighty albums, and at their legendary gigs at home and around the world they’ve quietly become a byword for distinguished British creativity.

“JTQ perform all over the world at major international festivals to sell-out audiences and at jazz clubs such as Ronnie Scott’s. The band recorded their signature tune ‘The Theme from Starsky and Hutch’, featuring Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis of The JBs, in 1988 and this was included on their album Wait A Minute.”

The Hastings-based band The Fabulous Red Diesel are supporting The James Taylor Quartet. This unique collection of quirky players perform song-based jazz with soaring vocals, hooks and grooves.

To find out more about the concerts, and to see what else the Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival has to offer, visit www.ryejazz.com. Artists include John Williams and Six Hands (May 22), P P Arnold (May 23), Graham Gouldman and Heartful of Songs (May 24) and Ronnie Scott’s All Stars (May 25).

People can also book their tickets through the website.

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