Sunny Jazz Festival hits the right note and raises money for good causes

Hastings Jazz and Blues Festival soared to new heights at the weekend with scorching weather, red hot music and record crowds.

More than two dozen Jazz and Blues acts performed on the Stade Open Space and supporting pubs and bars resulting in the most successful weekend of its type in Hastings Old Town.

Hastings Winkle Club Jazz Festival 2018. Photo by Sid Saunders SUS-180406-105111001

Hastings Winkle Club Jazz Festival 2018. Photo by Sid Saunders SUS-180406-105111001

Friday belonged to the Fringe Events with Porters, The Anchor, The London Trader, The Jenny Lind, The Nelson and The Dragon Bar all providing superb entertainment.

Saturday saw things begin to warm up with bands such as Roger Hubbard and Red Butler’s Blues Band really pulling in the crowds.

Then came ‘Red Hot Sunday’ which kicked off with a great Jazz Breakfast courtesy of The Swing Street Orchestra. Both the temperature and the music soared to new heights throughout the day culminating in the sensational Tony O’Malley Band with guest star, Hastings’ own Liane Carroll.

By this time, the whole crowd was swaying and dancing beneath a beautiful blue Hastings Old Town Sky.

The wonderful free weekend was provided thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of the Hastings Old Town Winkle Club.

Organiser, Garry Fellows said: “I would say this was our best yet in terms of people attending, but money donated may have been down on previous years. Times are obviously hard.”

Winkle Club Chairman, Christian Burton said: “We owe a great debt to our sponsors without whom this event just couldn’t happen. Also to Mike Raxworthy Music for putting together such a great programme of top class bands and to all our fundraising team and volunteer helpers over the Festival period.

“The weather, music and the crowds were great. The Winkle Club working at its finest.”

All monies raised from the Festival will go to Winkle Club local good causes and the Club says it will do all it can to see the Festival happens again next year if that is economically possible.

Pictures by Sid Saunders.