First acts for inaugural Kenilworth Arts Festival revealed

Rachel Sermanni

Rachel Sermanni

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The first wave of headline acts for the inaugural Kenilworth Arts Festival taking place in September have been announced.

Among those confirmed are folk musicians Rachel Sermanni and Luke Jackson, jazz pianist Jason Rebello and classical duo The Ayoub Sisters.

The Ayoub Sisters

The Ayoub Sisters

And award-winning nature author Rob Cowen has also been booked for the festival, along with these four musical acts.

Charlotte Thomas, head of communications for the festival, said: “They are all contemporary artists who are currently creating music and writing books. It’s been a long time coming but I’m very excited.”

Both Rachel Sermanni and Luke Jackson will be playing on Saturday September 17 in the Tudor Stables of Kenilworth Castle.

Rachel’s work has been praised by music magazines such as the NME and Mojo, and a review by The Guardian described her as ‘one of Britain’s most promising folk artists’.

Jason Rebello

Jason Rebello

Luke’s music was nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2013, and the Telegraph named his latest album ‘This Family Tree’ as one of the best folk albums released last year.

Jason Rebello has worked with artists such as Sting, Jeff Beck and Phil Collins, and will be playing an intimate piano concert at the festival. The date has yet to be confirmed.

The Ayoub Sisters recently performed at the Royal Albert Hall in a concert broadcast live on Classic FM, and will play a mix of traditional pieces and their own compositions at the festival.

Finally, Rob Cowen’s latest book, ‘Common Ground’ was shortlisted for a Portico Prize for non-fiction last year.

Luke Jackson

Luke Jackson

Also confirmed are journalist Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, who will be running a workshop on the subject during the festival, and Kitty Macfarlane, a young folk singer who will be performing at the folk concert alongside Rachel Sermanni and Luke Jackson.

The festival has been revamped this year after organisers decided to focus it on creative arts. It will run from Monday September 12 to Sunday September 18. Tickets are expected to go on sale in early May.

Rob Cowen

Rob Cowen