Rumer delighted to be back at Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival

Rumer reckons her last UK live concert was The Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival in 2019.

Rumer - pic by Alan Messer
Rumer - pic by Alan Messer

She is delighted to be back for 2021 (August 26-30).

“I remember it was really, really good, a really nice festival, a great group of people all working together and all involved in the community.

“I think it might have been the last show in England that I did, but we did a livestream back in October 2020. It was at a time when everybody was thinking about how to perform and people were experimenting with that livestream format.

“So we decided to do it. It was quite a challenge technically.

“You had to find all the right people, coming out of their little burrows like rabbits in the headlights from all over the place.

“And it was a different kind of nervous.

“You don’t have the feedback from the audience. It is a two-way thing with the audience, and obviously if you are livestreaming you only have the half of it.

“But I am putting out the live album of that performance.”

It was a question of making the best of it all: “I feel very fortunate that nobody in my family died.

“I have heard about people that have died, and a lot of people have died. I feel awful for those people that have lost loved ones, and I just feel very fortunate that I haven’t.

“In general, I suppose for me the whole experience was OK. If you are a musician or a creative, then you are used to the hard life, the hard scrabble.

“You are so used to adversity for all the years when you are struggling, and then it is like ‘Oh yeah, I remember that.’

“When I was trying to get my music out there, the internet was just beginning. Self-releasing records was only just beginning, and the only way you could become a professional as an artist was to get a record deal.

“And if you didn’t have friends in high places, then how on earth could you possibly get there as a brand-new artist?

“I just used to go for it and then retreat a little.

“While I was making Seasons of My Soul, I was working full-time and then one day a week going into the studio.

“I made Seasons of My Soul one day a week for three years. We did every Friday for three years.

“When I signed, the album was finished.

“It was my investment and Steve Brown’s, my producer.

“I had been around with these songs for many years knowing that I wanted to do them properly.

“I had no idea that they would be successful. I just wanted to have a CD with my name on. I was really surprised when it became so successful.

“I am a very community-focused person.

“I am somebody who really wants to be part of a community.

“That was one of the things I really appreciated about the Rye Jazz Festival, the feeling that it was a proper community and everyone was behind it.

“But when I became a person who was successful, you suddenly get isolated.

“What I struggled with most was that isolation, of being singled out and going from country to country but really on your own.

“The internal things going on when that happens are really interesting. I could write a book about them!

“In the end, I ran away. I went to Arkansas. I went to live in the woods and it was lovely.

“I felt like I was in a witness protection scheme. No one was ever going to find out where I was.

“We could just hide out. I just felt that I am not the kind of person that likes to be exposed and likes to be talked about.

“I like to have recognition for my music and have people say it is well written and well performed, but for me, I am just interested in that music.

“I felt I needed a retreat and to focus on other things like having a balanced relationship and having a family.

“I have got a four-year-old son who is coming up for school in September.

“That’s why my career has stalled a little. I have become a little bit of a part-timer with the music.

“But I am just aware that I am in a different phase of my life right now.

“I let my career side sit back a bit so I could focus on my child’s early years and to do my best to be a good parent.”


The Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival offers a series of headline concerts on an outdoor stage on the beachside South Lawn of the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea from August 26-30.

They will be “celebrating the best of British live music by the great British seaside.’

Performers include Paul Carrack, Gabrielle, Incognito, Courtney Pine, Rumer, Mica Paris, The Kingdom Choir, Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll.

Ian Bowden, festival director and producer, said: “There are limited tickets available, so we encourage people to book early.

“The concerts are being presented in accordance with government Covid guidelines to ensure maximum safety in a stunning setting.

“These headline concerts at the De La Warr Pavilion will be a celebration of best of British jazz, soul, funk, gospel and contemporary music at the great British seaside.

“The highly acclaimed soul singer Gabrielle takes to the stage on Friday, August 27 when you can hear her sing her chart-topping hits which include Rise, Out of Reach, Dreams and many others.

“On Saturday, August 28, we present an array of amazing music talent as we celebrate the best of British jazz funk with an afternoon and evening line-up which includes Incognito,

Courtney Pine, MF Robots, Snowboy & The Latin Section plus others to be announced and Hastings DJ Libby Ashdown spinning her soul and funk-ladened tunes throughout the day.

“On Sunday, August 29 we proudly present the highly acclaimed singer Rumer in concert. Rumer will be performing songs from her latest album Nashville Tears and favourite songs from her impressive back catalogue of hits.”

On Nashville Tears, Rumer immerses herself in the catalogue of Hugh Prestwood, a songwriter whose name is spoken with reverence by his colleagues.

Nashville Tears collects fifteen of Prestwood’s finest songs, many never recorded until now, revealing truths of the heart, both intimate and universal, realistic and romantic.

“On Monday, August 30 we celebrate the best of British gospel, soul and jazz with the UK Queen of Soul Mica Paris, the world-renowned Kingdom Choir, and two of the finest contemporary jazz singer-songwriters and pianists of their generation, Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll.

“The festival also plans to present a range of socially distanced live music performances at various locations within Rye featuring the best of local and regional music talent. The festival is hopeful of securing funding from various grant bodies, sponsors, and private patrons.

“Please join us either on the streets of Rye or at the De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill this August bank holiday weekend. For updates, information and to purchase tickets please go to”

Festival producer Ian is hoping plenty of people till turn out and join in all the fun he is planning for the days ahead.

“Please join us either on the streets of Rye or at the De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill this August Bank Holiday weekend.

“For updates, information and to purchase tickets please go to the website”

More details about the event and its line-up are available on Facebook at @RyeJazzBlues.