Culture on the Isle of Wight for 2014

With the dawn of a new year we always start thinking about what we’ve got to look forward to in the 12 months ahead. Luckily for us, the Isle of Wight is rich with things to choose from and here are just a few handpicked examples.

 Newport Jazz Club

Digby Fairweather, the veteran cornettist who wowed the crowds at the Jazz Weekend in 2013, is opening Newport Jazz Club’s monthly series this year on January 19 at the Riverside Centre.

For him to return to our little Island so soon is wonderful news after his star turn leading the Best of British Jazz Legends gig last July with a tight dixieland sound.

He will be joined by tenor saxophonist Karen Sharp, who has twice won her instrumental category at the British Jazz Awards and is used to working with a plethora of small ensembles, so promises to blend with Digby and their trio with ease.

Isle of Wight Festival

Opinions were split over the announcement that Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris would once again be big names at the festival. Some were irritated that they’ve been before and the Isle of Wight often seems to rotate the same acts, whereas others consider them to be tried and tested as brilliant crowd-pleasers.

Whatever your take on it, it is undeniable that Rudimental, Passenger and The 1975 are all bands that have been huge over the past year and ought to put a fresh take on things.

Regardless, there are still many more acts to go and anything could happen.

Ventnor Exchange

This will be the big talking point for the Island’s arts scene this year, but the team behind Ventnor Fringe are still in the final planning stage. Suffice to say, from March we should have an exciting new cultural hub for the south of the Island that is doing things unlike anywhere else.

West Wight Arts Association

Although they’re currently halfway through their season, there are two especially interesting dates coming up soon, and this series certainly deserves to have more young people appreciating the top notch classical music on show.

Unusually, the series has Andrew Motion, the former poet laureate, to read from his latest poetry volume on Saturday, February 1. He has visited the Island before and comes across a genuinely lovely man who it will be a pleasure to hear from again.

 And everything else…

Whatever people think about it, there is always loads going on throughout the Island and love hearing about it all. From Bestival to the various smaller festivals, or comedian Ed Byrne at Medina Theatre to the new Acoustic Isle, it’s harder than ever to have nothing to do.

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