Hugely talented and versatile performer Earl Okin will be returning to his first love when he plays at Rye Jazz Festival this weekend.
A veteran of the Edinburgh Festival, Earl is as much known for his cabaret and comedy performances as the fact that he is essentially the father of Bossa Nova playing in Great Britain.
Recently he has been concentrating on his jazz singing and playing with regular appearances at Ronnie Scott’s and London’s hottest art-deco night-spot Le Crazy Coqs.
Earl told us what he loves so much about the Rye Festival.
“Jazz has become a great spreading plant with tendrils everywhere and people have confused ideas about the music.
“People say to me ‘I don’t like jazz’ and I reply ‘oh , you don’t like Ella Fitzgerald then?’ and they say ‘Yes I love Ella Fitzgerald’ - well that is jazz.
“What I like about Rye is that it showcases the more melodic end of jazz. It is able to bring in a much wider audience.
“Coming back to Rye is like going to a family reunion for me.”
Earl says he wanted to be a singer from the age of three. he said: “Grand Opera was always me first love but I ended up singing jazz.”
As well as a ticketed performance, Earl will also be playing on the garden stage of the Ypres Castle pub on Sunday afternoon.