JAM on the Marsh is an annual multi-arts festival built around Kent’s magnificent Romney Marsh and its famous medieval churches. Each year JAM on the Marsh crosses the Romney Marsh from Dungeness to Hythe and Lympne to New Romney. The Marsh churches are true beacons of culture and history; they are the heart of the festival.
JAM on the Marsh 2017
JAM on the Marsh 2017 ran from 6th – 16th July across the Romney Marsh from Dungeness to Hythe and New Romney to Snargate. Twenty seven events were presented during the festival, which was curated by the internationally renowned organist and conductor, Daniel Cook (Master of the Choristers of Durham Cathedral).
Some of the UK’s finest performers and creators were involved featuring music, art & photography, theatre, poetry, churches tours and vibrant children’s events, including the BBC Singers, David Rees-Williams Trio, pianist Tomasz Lis, Sounds Baroque and the Mousai Singers. Festival highlights included:
- Susan Pilcher’s rich, beautiful photography exhibition of the Romney Marsh shot at night, using very long exposures.
- London Mozart Players with Daniel Cook, conducted by Michael Bawtree gave us an extraordinary concert featuring music for orchestra and organ, with Daniel playing organs from France, Holland and England.
- Changeling Theatre visited the festival for the first time, bringing Shakespeare’s Hamlet to the golf links at Littlestone. Whilst the Northeast wind chilled the audience to the bone, the performance was thrilling, bringing wit and humour to this tragic play.
- In collaboration with Kent Music, 175 children from 6 Marsh Primary Schools piled in to the Marsh Academy Leisure Centre to perform with Onyx Brass and Daniel Moulton. Individual schools performed one at a time before coming together for a roof-lifting performance with Onyx of Timothy Jackson’s 20-minute work Opening Night.
- A new addition were our Come and Play sessions where anyone of any musical standard could Come and Play with festival Curator, Daniel Cook and Michael Bawtree, in a relaxed, coffee morning environment. People who took part varied in age from around 8 to their late 60s. These sessions were a huge success which will roll forward into future years.
- The festival closed, when Michal Rogalski and Michael Poll performed That Latin Temperament, a concert of Latin classics, arranged for oboe and guitar. This unique combination finished the festival with a funky, warm, happy glow!
- The world premiere of our Festival Commission Voices of Vimy, performed by BBC Singers and Jamie Walton (cello), created by composers Tom Harrold and Stuart Beatch, to words by Grahame Davies.
JAM on the Marsh 2018 Thursday 5th – Sunday 15th July.
The role of Curator is an important one in how JAM on the Marsh is programmed. The position of Curator can only be held by a person for two years. This ensures that the festival is ever-developing and continuously changing. Curators to date have included the internationally renowned composers, Judith Bingham and Paul Mealor and for 2017 / 18 the organist and conductor, Daniel Cook (Westminster Abbey).
Daniel Cook is also on the JAM panel that decides JAM’s annual programme.
JAM on the Marsh 2016
JAM on the Marsh 2016 was a triumph, with audience numbers up across all twenty four events including: music, poetry, art, photography, children’s events and a churches tour.
The festival started with a blast, as Onyx Brass played an amazing concert in the Engine Shed of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, with most of the audience arriving and leaving the station by steam train. This first day set out the festival stall, as we also opened four exhibitions across Romney Marsh and had live broadcasts on BBC Radio Kent and on BBC Kent’s South East Today.
Events came thick and fast over the next ten days, with highlights including photographic exhibitions by Tristan Fewings and the Marsh Academy students, a theatrical performance of Paul Patterson’s settings of Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs by the Magnard Ensemble, the festival’s first broadcast on Radio 3 with the BBC Singers and Dame Janet Suzman, the world premiere of Paul Mealor’s The Shadows of War by London Mozart Players and Mousai Singers and an amazingly emotional performance on the final day of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.
Bring Your Own Event to JAM on the Marsh
JAM on the Marsh also hosts a Bring Your Own scheme, which enables creators to bring an event to the festival. Please click the button below for more information on how to submit to the BYO scheme.