Changeling Theatre Old School Garden

From 4-14th July, JAM on the Marsh returns to the unspoiled landscape of Romney Marsh for its 11th festival. The programme features a stunning array of international and local artists, lighting up the Kent coast with music, theatre, film, poetry and art.

Unfolding in a variety of intimate locations; from the famous mediaeval churches to local gardens and steam railway carriages; JAM on the Marsh will bring the arts to unexpected places. Festival Curator Nicholas Cleobury brings highlights from New York, Vienna, Soho and Canterbury to Romney Marsh in an unmissable multi-arts festival, guaranteeing unforgettable experiences.

Nicholas Cleobury will bring a symphony to the Marsh for the first time in his final concert as Festival Curator

For those further afield, JAM on the Marsh is 37 minutes from London’s St Pancras, then a shuttle bus from Ashford International station to the venues. With Ashford as our shuttle hub, people from towns across Kent and Sussex have easy access to JAM on the Marsh by train. Experience the unique Marsh landscape, pubs and coastline, and festival events an hour from your home.

New and outstanding quality underpin JAM on the Marsh. Regularly performing with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, at New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Royal Opera House, world-renowned tenor Mark Padmore makes his festival debut, with the most in-demand French Horn player Ben Goldscheider and the London Mozart Players in an exhilarating performance of works by Holst, Delius, Elgar and two world premieres.

Another debut to the Marsh is Stephen Layton, conductor of The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and chart-topping choir Polyphony, bringing his Holst Singers to perform a choral feast of much-loved works by Britten, Howells and Walton.

Acclaimed Rosie Moon will take the audience on an aural world tour

JAM is delighted to reveal another guest debut. Found in a Kent home, JAM on the Marsh will host the first performance for 100 years of a rare 18th century Gagliano 3-string double bass in rich and superb condition. Acclaimed Rosie Moon will take the audience on an aural world tour, performing 12 melodic, vibrant and lively waltzes by the rarely performed Italian composer Domenico Dragonetti. The late, great Rinat Ibragimov recorded on this instrument receiving 3.5million views on YouTube.  The aural tour continues the next day with an ‘Afternoon in Vienna’; a joyous Sunday afternoon of waltzes and symphonies by Haydn and Strauss.

Amidst the feast of music, JAM on the Marsh would not be complete without Changeling Theatre.  Kent’s irreverent outdoor theatre company return to the Marsh with Noel Coward’s Present Laughter and Shakepeare’s Henry V.  Bring a picnic, a chair and a rug and enjoy outdoor theatre at its best, under the copper beech tree of New Romney’s Old School Garden.

Prospect Cottage Photo: Mark C O’Flaherty

JAM on the Marsh celebrates the lives and works of two prominent former Romney Marsh residents: Derek Jarman and Edith Nesbit. The Edith Nesbit Society will give a rare insight into one of the UK’s favourite authors, followed by a screening of the award-winning 1970’s film adaption of The Railway Children in New Romney’s Cinemarsh

Derek Jarman features prominently in the festival with four events celebrating the iconic filmmaker and gay rights activist, who died 30 years ago. From visits to his home Prospect Cottage and a screening of his 1989 film War Requiem, to Mark Farrelly’s vibrant solo play and the premiere of four new short operas with libretti based on the life of the pioneering artist, the audience will gain a deep insight into Jarman’s life.

Collaboration is key to JAM on the Marsh, bringing wonderful new experiences to our partners and audience. The London Mozart Players (LMP) collaborating with Canterbury Cathedral Choir will perform Fauré’s ever-popular Requiem, interwoven by thought-provoking poetry by celebrated poet Grahame Davies.  LMP will also lead our new Festival Orchestra in its debut performance, delighting the audience with Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue and Vaughan Williams beautiful The Lark Ascending. From June, LMP will lead workshops with outstanding community players of all ages, culminating in this vibrant performance together. From past community and professional performances this will be a packed celebration of talent and achievement.

Further bringing older and younger communities together, from late April, former BBC Singer Rebecca Lodge Birkebaek will lead weekly singing classes. Children from St Nicholas and Brenzett primary schools will sing with the Sunflower Singers from the Romney Marsh Community Hub, culminating in their performance of Bob Chilcott’s lively A Sporting Chance accompanied by the stunning Onyx Brass.

Winter Marshland credit James Norton

This year’s JAM on the Marsh will champion fabulous artists exhibiting stunning works including wave-created cyanotypes, print-making, large-scale watercolours and abstract textured oils depicting the Marsh. On display and on sale, all day, every day, in festival performance venues, JAM on the Marsh will cross-pollinate the arts and boost audiences to each. In Meet the Artist talks, taking place before festival concerts, the audience will find out more about the artists, their artworks and inspiration.

This year’s JAM on the Marsh will close on a triumph. Nicholas Cleobury brings a symphony to the Marsh for the first time in his final concert as Festival Curator. The hand-picked players of JAM Sinfonia will raise the roof with Mahler’s 4th Symphony; one of Mahler’s finest and unmissable.

Nicolas Cleobury ©Tristan-Fewings

From intimate solo performances to large-scale choral and orchestral concerts celebrating local talent; from family-friendly theatre to inspirational exhibitions – JAM offers something free or affordable for every taste.

Tickets are now available from free – £20 via  Under 18s are free to all events

By Ed

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