A day in Paris ... in Hythe

JAM on the Marsh takes a musical journey through Paris with three concerts celebrating some of the greatest French music of the 20th century on 8 July 2023.

“110 years ago, Stravinsky wrote The Rite of Spring, one of the most important works ever written, and this was the starting point for A Day in Paris.”

Get a bundle ticket for all three concerts and spend ‘A Day in Paris’ with JAM in Hythe. With our ‘Enhanced’ ticket you can even book a sustainable way from London and surrounding towns to the venue. Take the train and get on our return festival shuttle bus from Ashford International station to St Leonard’s church.

Organist Tom Bell gives a talk and concert of the music of Messiaen at JAM on the Marsh.
Tom Bell, organist

We start the day at 11am with an introduction to one of the most important composers of the last century: Olivier Messiaen, organist at La Trinité, Paris. Messiaen Unwrapped: A Morning in Paris is a great opportunity to learn more about the extraordinary work and life of the musician who created some of the most ground-breaking music ever written, such as Quartet for the End of Time. The internationally acclaimed organist Tom Bell will introduce us to the composer’s extraordinary works for organ, his favourite instrument. An expert on Messiaen, he will not only perform, but also share some insights about the French composer.

Cyril Ibrahim and John Frederick Hudson perform Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in JAM on the Marsh.
Cyrill Ibrahim & John Frederick Hudson, pianists

Our excursion to the French capital continues at 3pm with a visit to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, where 110 years ago the premiere of Igor Stravinksy’s The Rite of Spring took place. The first performance of the ballet caused a near riot – its ground-breaking avant-garde music and choreography was not to everyone’s taste at the time. Originally written for 4-hand piano, we are thrilled that two accomplished pianists will perform the work at JAM on the Marsh. Cyrill Ibrahim and John Frederick Hudson take on the giant task of performing this musical masterpiece. They will also revisit Milhaud’s La creation du monde and premiere a composition by Paul Mealor, written for them.

JAM Sinfonia and Hanna Hipp perform works by legendary French composers Debussy, Berlioz and Poulenc
Hanna Hipp, mezzo-soprano

We end our musical journey to the French capital at 7pm with a flamboyant evening concert of pieces by Debussy, Poulenc & Berlioz, conducted by Festival Curator Nicholas Cleobury. Three fabulous arrangements of Les nuits d’été, Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune and L’histoire de babar, le petit éléphant will be performed by the JAM Sinfonia, which includes some of the finest players in the UK today, sought-after mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp and actor Kudzanayi Chiwawa. This promises to be a grand finale to A Day in Paris!

Here is a suggestion for your itinerary:

10:00 – JAM Shuttle bus from Ashford International train station to St Leonard’s Church, Hythe
11:00 – Messiaen Unwrapped
12:30 – Lunch at Noiy’s Noodles (Thai food)
13:15 – Beach time – Take a stroll along the beach and enjoy fantastic views of the English Channel
14:30 – Head back to St Leonard’s
15:00 – The Rite of Spring
16:15 – Visit the St Leonard’s Ossuary – Hythe’s version of the Paris Catacombs
17:00 – Grab Fish & Chips at Torbay of Hythe and sit on the bank of the Royal Military Canal
17:45 – Head back to St Leonard’s
18:00 – Meet the Artist: France Tetreault
18:30 – Visit France’s exhibition in the church
19:00 – Debussy, Poulenc & Berlioz
21:00 – Shuttle Bus departs from St Leonard’s for Ashford International Station
21:30 – Arrival at Ashford International train station

JAM recommends:
• Noiy’s Noodles; 82 Stade Street CT21 6DA (Thai food; 5mins walk from the beach / 10mins from the church)
• Torbay of Hythe; 81 High St CT21 5J (Fish & Chips; 10mins walk from the beach or 5mins from the church)
Hide and Fox; The Green CT21 4PS (Michelin Star restaurant; on the outskirts of Hythe, 15min walk from the church)

Make a weekend of it:
• Royal Military Canal Rowing Boat Hire & Electric Boat Trips
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway – take the steam train to Dungeness and back
Brockhill Country Park (approx. 30mins walk from the High Street)
Port Lympne Safari Park (Take bus number 10 from Hythe)
Sailing, Windsurfing or Paddle Boarding
Seapoint Canoe Centre
Hythe Imperial Hotel and Spa

Interested in finding out more about Messiaen? Head to Tom Bell’s Messiaen Vlog: