2022 Festival Events

Clare Cosson, a vibrant Rye-based photographer, embraced life with a unique joie de vivre. Over 10 years she battled three types of cancer with grit, determination, laughter and friendship. Her effervescent Instagram account was filled with wonderful photographs and poignant commentary of her fight. Sadly, Clare lost her battle in September 2021. This retrospective exhibition is her first one woman show.
Having painted for over 60 years, John Ballard creates extra-large abstracts using a wide range of colours and textures including scraping, scarring and etching the surface of the canvas – a major feature of his work. Experience these large abstract oil paintings in person and up close.
Inspired by seeing satellite images from space in the documentary Planet Earth, Penny Graham embarked upon a different kind of work using Raku, a Japanese method of pottery making. Highlighting the organic pattern and vivid colours, these glazed bowls represent her creative work and love for the planet. Please note: there are no facilities at this church.
Returning to the festival, Angela C Smith has a deep love of natural materials and carves her sculptures by hand. This exhibition brings a select number of stone sculptures to the radiant transept of St Leonard’s Church, Hythe; a perfect space to display their beauty, vitality and poetic forms.
The Voix Celeste is an organ stop consisting of a rank of pipes that are slightly out of tune, producing a lightly beating effect when combined with other stops. “It struck me that our fate was a bit like the game of musical chairs where you must land on a seat when the music stops. In my installation, sitting on a stool may have the opposite effect!” — Maureen Jordan.
For the first time, JAM on the Marsh visits all 14 of the wonderful mediaeval Romney Marsh churches by collaborating with Teach Me and the Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust on a mosaics trail. This brilliant community driven project, designed and led by Yolanda Houston, was started in 2021. Over two years it has encouraged the public to create a large-scale mosaic capturing the heritage, wildlife and character of each church, drawing people of all ages into art. The mosaics will be on display daily at each church as part of a Marsh Churches’ Mosaics Trail.

JAM on the Marsh presents a Retrospective Series – a highlight of previous JAM on the Marsh exhibitions from its inception in 2014 to present day. These exciting photography exhibitions explore the distinctive features and landscape of the Romney Marsh, home to JAM on the Marsh. For this Retrospective Series exhibition covering the length of the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, we bring shots from five photographers who have thrilled us over the years.


The Temple

Lecture & Poetry Recital by Gawain Douglas

Gawain Douglas opens JAM on the Marsh with a fascinating talk about and recital of Po Chu-i’s The Temple. Po Chu-i lived AD 772-846 and was one of the most important poets of the Tang Dynasty, AD 618-907

Music · Free Event

Open Rehearsal

with the Fibonacci Quartet

The Fibonacci Quartet returns to the festival with two concerts (8 & 13 July), following its debut last year. As a fantastic, emerging ensemble, JAM on the Marsh is giving the players the opportunity of performing with some of the world’s most established chamber musicians: Elise Batnes, Ellie Fagg, Louisa Tuck, Rachel Roberts and Anna Tilbrook. This free, open rehearsal will see them working on Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major ahead of their performance on 8 July.


Words and Music from the Romney Marshes

C J Driver

Jonty Driver returns to the festival giving a poetry recital of his own works. A firm favourite of festival audiences, Jonty performs in the intimate space of St Mary the Virgin, St Mary in the Marsh.


The Importance of Being Earnest


Changeling Theatre

Changeling Theatre brings its irreverent, fun new production of Oscar Wilde’s classic play. This Kent based theatre company is a professional touring theatre company serving community audiences across South East England, best known for its hugely successful open-air tour every summer. Bring a chair or rug and a picnic and enjoy this performance under the night sky of Romney Marsh.

Film · Free Public Screening

Short Film Competition Finalists


JAM on the Marsh’s film collaboration with Screen South culminates in the first public screening of films made by the finalists of JAM’s Short Film Competition. Films contain footage from the Romney Marsh and are a maximum of 10 minutes in duration. The top 3 films will precede the feature film at Cinemarsh throughout JAM on the Marsh.


Mendelssohn and Shostakovich

Fibonacci Quartet with Elise Batnes, Ellie Fagg, Rachel Roberts, Louisa Tuck & Anna Tilbrook

Over the first weekend of the festival, some of the world’s finest chamber musicians come together for three concerts. For the first, two greats of the chamber music repertoire open the musical side of the festival: Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor, Op.57 and Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, Op.20. Emerging ensemble, the Fibonacci Quartet, returns to the festival for the latter, for the first of two performances.


Clara & Clarke

Elise Batnes, Louisa Tuck & Anna Tilbrook

For the second of three chamber concerts, two wonderful works by relatively unsung female composers, Clara Schumann (1819-1896) and Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) are presented. The former was a German pianist, composer and piano teacher, married to Robert Schumann. Most of her music was largely forgotten until a resurgence of interest in the 1970s. Clarke’s output was not large, though her work was recognised for its compositional skill and artistic power. Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio and Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio are absolute treasures.

Education · Free Event

Choral Composition Workshop

with VOCES8 & Paul Mealor

For the second year, JAM is running its Masterclass Series in composition following last year’s on writing for brass and organ. This year the project, in collaboration with VOCES8, turns to choral writing. Sketches of works by emerging composers will be workshopped by VOCES8, under the guidance of internationally renowned composer, Paul Mealor.


VOCES8: Stardust

Choral music celebrating regeneration


VOCES8 needs little introduction, as it is the most popular vocal ensemble in the world. With an on-going programme of recordings, videos and live broadcasts, VOCES8 is heard regularly on albums, international television and radio, as well as maintaining a vibrant web performance presence with its Live from London series. The ensemble is a Decca Classics artist and alongside releases on its own label, VOCES8 Records, has released acclaimed recordings that have all reached the top of the classical charts.


Duo for Violin & Cello

Elise Batnes & Louisa Tuck

For the final chamber concert of this first weekend, Elise Batnes (Leader of the Oslo Philharmonic) and Louisa Tuck (Principal Cello of the Oslo Philharmonic) bring an eclectic recital to one of the Marsh’s most intimate churches. Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello, the centrepiece of this concert, models perfectly the cross-pollination of Hungarian folk materials and the formal structures of art music. Please note that there are no facilities at this church. The performance will last 1 hour.


Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra

It is a joy to welcome back The Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra (AYJO), founded in 1984. The Orchestra comprises young jazz musicians aged 12 to 18 from the secondary schools in Ashford. The band can be heard playing at venues throughout the county as well as on summer tours in Europe. Their highest profile appearance to date was in the Music for Youth Schools Prom Concert in the Royal Albert Hall in 2010. The Band plays a range of big-band swing and blues numbers, ballads and film themes, with all solos being improvised.

Education · Free Event

Opening Night

Brookland & New Romney Primary Schools with Onyx Brass

Since the beginning of the year, JAM and Rebecca Lodge Birkebaek have been delivering a singing programme into Brookland and St Nicholas Primary Schools. This is a two-year project which will culminate in the world premiere of a community oratorio by Richard Peat, with the London Mozart Players, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones (mezzo), Julian Close (bass) and Kudzanayi Chiwawa (actor), conducted by JAM’s Principal Conductor, Michael Bawtree. For this year, the schools team up with Onyx Brass for a performance of Timothy Jackson’s Opening Night a piece full of fun and frolics!


Czech Mate

Fibonacci Quartet with Anna Tilbrook

The Fibonacci Quartet headlines this fascinating concert of Czechoslovakian music alongside one of the UK’s finest chamber musicians and JAM Festival Curator, Anna Tilbrook. This outstanding programme includes Mahler’s Piano Quartet in A minor and Janacek’s String Quartet No.1 “The Kreutzer Sonata” alongside music by Suk, Martinu and Janovický.



Lucy Crowe, James Gilchrist, JAM Sinfonia & Anna Tilbrook

Two of the UK’s finest singers come together to perform William Walton’s extraordinary Façade, a setting of poems by Edith Sitwell, 100 years after its first performance. The concert will start with Lucy Crowe performing Walton’s A Song for the Lord Mayor’s Table 60 years after it was written.


London Mozart Players

One of the UK’s finest musicians and one of the UK’s finest composers come together in this year’s Festival Commission: Judith Bingham’s Concerto for Clarinet. Michael Collins (clarinet) is the soloist and directs this stunning concert with the London Mozart Players, which pairs Bingham’s world premiere with Aaron Copland’s irresistible Clarinet Concerto, alongside Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Both soloist and composer have ‘significant birthdays’ this year, so this is a wonderful way to celebrate such significant artists of our time.

* Michael Collins is indisposed and we are delighted that Robert Plane will be the clarinet soloist and Nicholas Cleobury will conduct.


The Fifth Continent

with The Holst Singers

Onyx Brass, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones (mezzo) & Nicholas Cleobury (conductor)

JAM on the Marsh celebrates the 75th birthday of one of the UK’s most celebrated composers, Paul Patterson, by revisiting his Romney Marsh-inspired piece The Fifth Continent, commissioned by JAM in 2005. This piece, with words by Ben Kaye, is one of JAM’s most audience-pleasing commissions, which has had multiple performances across the UK and beyond. The Holst Singers, one of the UK’s finest choirs, makes its festival debut alongside Onyx Brass, Simon Hogan and Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, conducted by Nicholas Cleobury, who becomes Festival Curator next year. Paul Patterson will introduce The Fifth Continent, giving us all the opportunity to wish him Happy Birthday!


London Tango Quintet

London Tango Quintet brings together five outstanding musicians to play the music of Piazzolla, Troilo and other giants of Argentinian tango. If supergroups exist, this surely is one: chart topping guitar virtuoso, Craig Ogden, is joined by the extraordinary accordionist, Miloš Milivojević, pianist / composer David Gordon, who regularly tours as a jazz musician or harpsichordist to internationally renowned ensembles, double bassist, Richard Pryce, who works with major orchestras and the likes of Jamie Cullum and Shirley Bassey and violinist and founder of the London Tango Quintet, David Juritz. What a way to end a vibrant, multi-arts festival!