Jazz Music Eastbourne

By Jazz Lounge Seaside CIC

Devonshire Park Jazz Sessions is a series of monthly live music events, showcasing swinging groovy music from established local artist and instrumental musicians, including acclaimed UK bands.

The Promoter. The Fan. The Musician.

Why are the Sessions happening here in Eastbourne? “I think its because I got lazy,” says the promoter, Yinka Adelanwa. “Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the local jazz gigs down here. But I love the music coming from the burgeoning London jazz scene, too.” But that’s a two-hour journey to reach the capital and returning home to Eastbourne in the early hours, if you want to experience that music scene.

Grassroots music venues, home to jazz gigs, have always faced challenges in keeping their doors open. The pandemic forced those doors closed, some for good.

Yinka says he got motivated to do something about this by a quote, from the venerable Dr Maya Angelou, ‘Make every effort to change things you do not like’. “OK, so we’re told we have to learn to live with this virus, right? That means all the personal responsibilities of staying at home when we’re told to or show signs of symptoms. What the places we enter should have, like good ventilation and enough space to social distance. Etcetera.” So, this promoter has found a venue where everyone can be seated at tables, as a social-distance measure. And, has modern ventilation systems. This being the refurbished Winter Garden located in Eastbourne.

Who are the bands that go on stage to perform? Sussex Jazz Magazine hails the Sessions as ‘a new place to experience live jazz’. With artists from the local area, Brighton’s Butxaca and Hastings-based Hexagonal jazz bands, performing alongside acclaimed acts from around the UK.

What to expect? Not the formal jazz music variety found in concert halls (still, that is what Winter Garden is). But the improvisational artform of jazz – new melody, harmony, and rhythms played over chord progressions of established standards. Live music at its best, with intensity lent from an enthusiastic audience to the performing artist and instrumental musicians.

We are seated listening to that cool jazz thing, a bit of the mean old weary blues in the groove, from a band exploring the depths to which mere sound has no business to go.

But jazz is elitist music? “If that’s what jazz music is… why is someone like me putting on these sessions,” Yinka quipped. “I’m definitely not elitist, for sure.” He goes on to add, “I remember seeing Shabaka Hutchings Quartet at the Crypt St’ Giles London in December 2014, Marius Neset at Brighton Dome Studio Theatre April 2015, Christian McBride down at Komedia Brighton March 2016, and as well as, Ezra Collective at Patterns Brighton November 2017 – they were launching their self-released album. These are not elitist people or exclusive venues.”

He mentions them all because he has not had the chance to see these artists again, since their emergence, because of high ticket prices and the Covid-19 pandemic. The Devonshire Park Jazz Sessions are an opportune event where a lot more people get the chance to see talented artists and instrumental musicians, as their careers begin to take off.

But, Yinka says, importantly, “I would really like everyone who hasn’t yet, as a new year’s resolution, to come and not just try but experience a different kind of music: listen to live jazz music.”

Devonshire Park Jazz Sessions begins on Saturday 26 February 2022 with mid-afternoon 3pm and evening 8pm shows at Winter Garden Eastbourne.

Visit www.jazzbournemusic.com for more information and tickets.