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Festival Team


Ian Bowden

Festival Director

Ian is a highly motivated, experienced, and creative producer and in 2012 he launched the first Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival which has been a personal ambition and vision.

In 2024 the festival celebrates its twelfth year and is acknowledged as one of the best boutique music festivals of its kind in the UK.

His career in music is particularly focused on jazz, soul, and blues and he has worked with artistes including Simply Red, Curtis Stigers, The Isley Brothers, Dionne Warwick, Randy Crawford, Amy Winehouse, Kool & The Gang, Michael Ball to name but a few.

Ian is married to Vicki (and the festival but you wouldn't expect anything less) and they have an twelve year - old daughter called Elysia and an Irish Water Spaniel called Hendrix (as in Jimi) who is quite a handful!. 


Vicki Haxton

Financial Controller/Event Manager & Director

Vicki has over 15 years events & marketing experience and has combined her experience with her passion for the charitable sector.

Vicki looks after the financial side of the festival and also lends her expertise to marketing and event management.

Vicki is married to Ian they have an twelve - year old daughter, Elysia and a high maintenance but hugely loveable Irish Water Spaniel called Hendrix…as in Jimi!


Kate Glover

Event Manager/Artistes Liaison & Director

​Kate has been a fundamental part of the festival team since 2015, managing our Live at St Mary’s Series of events and much of the street festival logistics - she loves a high viz!

Kate has an Advanced Diploma in Event Management. Throughout the year, Kate assists in the development, operations, right through to delivery of all the events, ensuring excellent customer service and quality.

Kate is a single mum to two boys and runs her own bookkeeping business in her day job when she’s not doing an awesome job looking after festival customers and artists. This women can multi-task!!!


Tim Cocking


Tim is our “background man” and consultant. Part of the team from day one, a sounding board, adviser and a bit of a business guru to Ian. As well as a good mate.

Tim is particularly interested in new musicians who draw on jazz and funk traditions, but craft their talent to the new generation of fans and has a strong background of the music business, principally as a tour organiser/travel agent.

Tim has worked with major record companies including EMI, Chrysalis, and PWL (Stock Aitken Waterman). In the 80’s/90’s, Tim’s travel team handled the logistics of European tours for major artists including Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, Spandau Ballet, Boz Scaggs and a lot more.

Tim has also organised major corporate events and conferences worldwide. His company, vca Consultancy, has specialised for the last 16 years in providing onsite services to companies attending the major festivals in Cannes. Clients include Sky, Freemantle, Savills, JWT and Havas.

Tim divides his time between Rye and Provence.


John Bryant

Technical & Production Manager

John is the festival’s production manager, looking after all of the sound, staging and lighting requirements for events at the festival.

John runs a very successful production company called On-Stage and works all over the UK and internationally providing logistical support for major music events, conferences and exhibitions.

John lives locally to Rye and has worked with the festival since it was launched in 2012.


Alex Dodd

Programming & Event Manager

Alex works closely with Ian Bowden and the core festival team with the festivals programming bringing years of experience and his passion for live music events, production, and management.

As a former DJ and live music event producer Alex enjoys sharing his joy of music with everyone!

His love for 'All things Jazz' was born in his teens and his passion to share contemporary music was undeniable. From local live events to National DJ competitions, Alex was excited to see others enjoy the music he loved and the events he curated.

Alex has four children and is often found dragging them up mountains in The Breckon Beacons!


Duncan Groves

Event Manager

Duncan has spent the last 20 years working on large scale television productions and managing operations at some of the UK’s biggest music and sports events.

Highlights have included entertaining spectators at the 2012 Olympic games, managing operations at the Bafta TV & Film awards and being part of the core team responsible for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Duncan works closely with Ian and Alex to monitor operations and public safety throughout the festival, and to support the creative development of the festival’s offering year on year. Duncan can also be found compèring our outside stage at the Kino.



Laura Glik

Fundraising & Event Manager

Laura has known Rye her entire life, as a place she holidayed as a child, to where her parents moved to in the 1990's.

Over the last 30 years, Laura has worked in business development and her career has allowed her to live in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as sunny England!

Laura now lives with her husband just outside Tenterden. In her spare time she looks after her bees, grows vegetables, goes to the gym and loves listening to jazzy, soul and funk music!

Laura has joined the passionate festival team to assist in fundraising and event management. 


Jane Mills

Hospitality Manager

Jane has a wealth of hospitality and customer service experience and uses both constantly during the festival! She focuses on looking after our headline artists

Jane is always cheery and nothing is too much bother - we love her!

If you see her around say ‘Hi’!


Katrina Walker

Customer Experience Volunteer

Katrina joined the festival when Rye Jazz hosted Russell Watson in the fabulous grounds of Tonbridge Castle. 

Katrina loves to meet and greet our festival visitors, VIPs and artists, so front of house is the best ever place for her to be. That said, she has been seen wearing high viz and carting chairs, so mucking in with the rest of the team is just as important to her.

Katrina lives in East Sussex and by day is the Client Relationship Manager for a Kent law firm, so for her, making sure everyone’s experience is ‘one to remember’, is always top of her list.

This lady will always welcome you with a smile.


Kt Bruce

Official Festival Photographer

Kt Bruce is a professional photographer with an interesting portfolio including HM The Queen, the Royal family, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Michelle Obama and many actors and authors and musicians.

Kt works in London, Oxford, Gibraltar and Rye and loves working on the International Jazz Festival in Rye and Sidmouth with the amazing team.

Kt has the ability to bring out the best in her subjects and her photographs are full of energy and buzz.  She has many interesting testimonials including Dame Mo Maureen Lipman. “Kt has the sharpest and the best eye in the business- and the other one is just as good. A wonderful lightness, vivacity and speed personifies both her and her work. Love her!”



Martin Bruce

Official Festival Photographer

Martin is a retired Oxford headmaster whose interest in photography has enlarged to encompass videography and drone work.

His background as a professional musician makes him well-attuned to the brilliant selection of performances on offer at the Rye and Sidmouth International Jazz and Blues Festivals.

He is proud and happy to be a member of the volunteer team and works closely with Kt Bruce taking fabulous photography and video footage at both festivals. 



Jonathon Bennett


Educated at King Alfred School, North London and then at The Guildhall School of Music, Jonathon studied Classical Guitar. From there he studied in Sienna under Andre Segovia.

To earn some extra money, Jonathon became Stage Manager at the Arts Theatre in London working with Pinter, Wesker and many other new wave play writes. He formed a blues/rock band, The Idle Hands performing around the London clubs. Long John Baldry, was amongst the many new singers who performed with them at The Marquee Club, The Scotch Club and others.

Since then he has been concentrating his creative energy on photography. Recently, he moved to beautiful Rye with his wife Sylvia and they have found themselves integrating very easily into this kind, vibrant place and have very much enjoyed getting involved in the festival.


Michael Burt


Michael is a qualified engineer and has worked within the specialised field of Vibration Testing primarily in the aerospace, automotive and consumer product industries. This profession has enabled him to travel worldwide as a Sales Director. With over 40 years of experience he is still working as a highly-regarded consultant in Europe.

Michael lived in Brede as a child and attended school in Rye. He has an affinity with the town having spent many hours of his youth at the Rye Boys Club and later in life frequenting the towns best ‘watering-holes’. He also played football for Rye United.

Michael enjoys all genres of music but his favourites include Swing and Classical, in particular the legendary Frank Sinatra and Pavarotti. Michael is married with two sons and four grand-children. He is delighted to be included as part of the Rye Jazz Team.