Tony O'Malley and Mike Raxworthy
Tony O’Malley and Mike Raxworthy

Friday June 2nd sees the welcome return of The Hastings Winkle Club Jazz and Blues Festival at The Stade, which continues until Sunday June 4th. All funds from the charity weekend go to The Winkle Club, who once a year donate thousands of pounds to a whole host of local charities and good causes. This year it amounted to almost £30,000.

Eight of the Old Town’s best live music venues are both sponsoring and participating in the festival: The Albion, The Anchor, The Jenny Lind, The Old Market, The Dragon Bar, Porters Wine Bar, The London Trader and The Lord Nelson. From June 2nd, they will all be featuring Jazz, Blues and Funky Soul bands, as well as giving money towards the acts on the main stage. Generous sponsorship has also come from many local businesses, including this very paper. Organiser Mike Raxworthy gave us the rundown on the exciting bill:

“On Saturday afternoon 3rd June on the Stade Open Space, I’ll be presenting, 2pm: The Helen Sharpe Jazz Quartet, 3pm: The Red Butler Blues Band, 4.30pm: Jane Reeve’s Triple Delight, featuring 3-piece female vocals and band, 6pm: The legend that is Herbie Flowers, with Mike Hatchard and band, and from 7.30pm – 9pm:The HBC-funded Stade Saturdays has kindly sponsored me to present the uncrowned Queen of Jazz, our very own Liane Carroll with a full set – not to be missed!

On Sunday 4th June we open at 10am. Come and join us for a Jazz Breakfast. Tuck in to one of our Breakfast Baps with a cup of tea or coffee while you listen to the 20-strong Invicta Jazz Orchestra. At 2pm I have Hexagonal – 6 of the very best jazz instrumentalists in the country, who have played behind many of the big names in music. 3pm: The Greg Coulson Blues Band. Aged only 25, Greg has played with The Selector, as well as handling the lead in the West End show Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined. 5pm: The Tony O’Malley Band. (Tony is formerly of 10cc, Arrival and British soul sensations, Kokomo! A real class act!). At 6.30, last but not least, the 7-piece Tom Fitzpatrick Band, will be performing swing jazz to finish a busy, and hopefully enjoyable weekend!”
“PS: Don’t forget, entry for the entire weekend is FREE, but we will be rattling buckets on the main site and around the pubs throughout, so please give generously. We will have our own licensed bar on site and our own food outlets – all profits will go to the charity. For full details and a list of absolutely everything you can see in the participating pubs and bars check out our website at www.hastingsjazzandbluesfest.com or pick up our 8-page programme of bands and show times from The Tourist Information Centre, Muriel Matters House, right next to the Pelham Roundabout.”

The Hastings Winkle Club Jazz and Blues Festival at The Stade, Friday 2 – Sunday 4 June, Free entry