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.
This Year’s Events
JAM on the Marsh 2017 will be curated by the internationally renowned organist and conductor, Daniel Cook (Westminster Abbey).
Music will feature strongly from early music (Sounds Baroque) to jazz (David Rees-Williams Trio), with performances by BBC Singers, London Mozart Players, Mousai Singers and Onyx Brass. The Cello features in three concerts played by Jamie Walton, alongside BBC Singers, Anita Strevens, playing all six Bach Cello Suites and Molly Parsons-Gurr playing Poulenc, Rachmaninoff and Vaughan Williams. The programming starts at Bach and Handel and finishes with Judith Bingham and a Festival Commission commemorating the Battle of Vimy Ridge by Tom Harrold and Stuart Beatch, to words by Grahame Davies.
A first for 2017 is a whole day dedicated to the Marsh children: Children’s Sunday at the Romney Marsh Visitors Centre. This is a mini-festival within the festival, especially designed around the community and its children. In keeping with the main festival, this will be a multi-art event, featuring music, art, theatre, story-telling and bugs! Bring an instrument and some music and perform in our first Come and Play session, accompanied by festival Curator Daniel Cook in the relaxed café; let bugs roam over your hands; create collages and masks based on the bugs that you meet; come and create a story based around the world-famous Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway and the Railway Children with Bounce Theatre, and MUCH more… There’s a BBQ serving delicious food too. Older visitors can enjoy the ‘down time’ by visiting the three exhibitions and the café at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre, throughout the day.
There are five exhibitions by watercolour specialist, john Doyle, mixed media artist, Jillian Bain Christie and photographers Tristan Fewings and Susan Pilcher Students of the Marsh Academy get their own public exhibition following a six-month mentorship scheme, run by JAM, with award-winning photographers Tristan Fewings and Justin Sutcliffe.
For the first time a Shakespeare play is performed when Changeling Theatre perform Hamlet by Changeling Theatre. Sabotage Theatre return to the festival with three performances of their new play The Looker.
There are two chances to tour the famous Marsh churches, guided by the Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust, both featuring splendid lunches at two Marsh pubs, and one including a performance of Bach’s Cello Suites.
There are also two wonderful poetry recitals.
JAM on the Marsh really does have something for everyone!
JAM on the Marsh 2017 Thursday 6th – Sunday 16th 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.