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Love Supreme Festival, Glynde Place, East Sussex, Day # 1 Of 3, Friday 5th July 2024




Love Supreme is one of the sparkling jewels in the crown of UK music festivals, which will see more than 60,000 music fans flock to the picturesque East Sussex site this weekend.

Add “Jazz Festival” to its name and you’ll be part way to knowing what to expect in the lineup, but there’s a heck of a lot more genres on offer than just jazz. Oh yes…

Last year celebrating its 10th anniversary with a star-studded menu of artists such as Grace Jones, Little Simz and Tower of Power; how to follow that for the 11th edition?

Well, to borrow the word ‘Supreme from the name of the event, that is what the lineup is best described as this year.

Olivia Dean

Saturday night sees a debut festival headline slot for Oliva Dean, which is also something to shout about…We caught her in Manchester in April and she was sizzling.

Oliva’s hit debut album “Messy” was released in June 2023 and Mercury Prize-nominated, which peaked at # four in the UK album chart. She will be delivering some of those tracks at Love Supreme, you can bet.

Olivia Dean

Three times BRIT-nominated, London-born Olivia has proven her star is very much on the ascent and shining brightly, in the fact she sold out three nights at London’s iconic Eventim Apollo on her spring tour– and she smashed it on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury last weekend. [You can see that on BBC iPlayer and it is worth watching.]

Also appearing at Love Supreme 2024 is the legendary Dionne Warwick, the wonderful UK sensation Mahalia – who headlined day one in fine style, Black Pumas, Noname [who was magnificent  at Glastonbury last weekend], the equally wonderful Joss Stone, Kool and the Gang, Trombone Shorty and Jordan Rakei.

Joss Stone

It is Sananda Maitreya’s first show in the UK for 22 years – previously known as Terence Trent D’Arby – and that is a real coup for Love Supreme.

Sananda Maitreya

The 62-year-old’s voice sounds just as it did in his days as hit maker Trent D’Arby, and he will be including his classic hit songs “If You Let Me Stay”, “Sign Your Name”, “Dance Little Sister”, and “Wishing Well” in his set on Saturday afternoon.

The one and only Chaka Khan headlines to close the festival on Sunday and she is celebrating five decades in music, so expect all her solo hits such as “I’m Every Woman” and some fabulous Rufus tracks, such as the timeless, “Tell me Something Good” – and maybe some songs from her many collaborations across a 50 year career.

Chaka Khan

This year also sees legendary US  jazz drummer Billy Cobham, blues star Christone Kingfish Ingram, Brighton’s Alice Russell, Christian McBride and lots more on several stages. Plus a slew of top end DJ sets, such as DJ Spoony and comedian and TV star Romesh Ranganathan.

Billy Cobham


Christone “Kingfish” Ingram


Love Supreme main stage

Day # one, Friday was a wee bit wet and windy.But to coin a cliched media phrase, it “failed to dampen the spirits” of the fans onsite – many of whom were camping across the three days, and who had taken took a day off work to sample the delights of the festival and the artists on offer.

A friendly family event with lots of children and teenagers present, and a fairground that was busy even in the dodgy weather.

Leicester gal Mahalia and her band headlined the South Downs Stage, and she rammed out the huge big top tent and turned in a beautiful set, proving why she is doing so well in the US and around the world in her career.

The 26-year-old r&b and neo soul star had the fans singing along and dancing to most of her set, which included her most popular tracks such as “Ready” and “Simmer”.






US bassist, singer-songwriter and spoken word star Meshell Ndegeocello and her band were magnificent. A good percentage of the audience that packed out the South Downs stage big top were there purely to see her on that day, and had travelled from far and wide.

Michelle Lynn Johnson has gone by the name Meshell Suhaila Bashir-Shakur as a writing credit on some of work, and for a long time now, she is known as Meshell Ndegeocello. Her chosen surname is from the Swahili for “free like a bird”.

Meshell Ndegeocello

Her music incorporates a wide variety of influences, including funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, reggae and rock. She has been nominated for eleven Grammy awards, and has won two. She is  credited for helping to create the neo-soul genre. At Love Supreme she performed tracks from some of her 13 albums; which included her 1993 album “Plantation Lullabies” and her latest, “The Omnichord Real Book” (2023).

Meshell Ndegeocello

Among the acts also performing on day # one, we caught Jordan Makampa and his band. The 30-year-old London-based soul artist is a British-Congolese musician, whose debut album “Foreigner” was released in March 2020.

He was born in Zaire and French is his first language. He and his mother moved to London in 1995 and he began playing guitar and composing songs at the age of 12. He attended school in Coventry and studied music at the University of Northampton. His influences include Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers. Catch him live when you can.

Jordan Makampa

The brilliant Imaginary Millions filled the Bands & Voices tent on Friday. They began as a live jam in Shoreditch, where regulars came to expect two hours of non-stop live improvised music where any member of the audience could get up and sing, rap, speak, dance as they felt moved. As the moments flowed and the jam grew into a radio show, the question in the room was always – what’s possible from here?

Imaginary Millions

In their themed showcase at Love Supreme, the audience were told to “expect words and voices sharing stories of hope and resilience, polyrhythms and harmonies, and improvised collaborations between our guest Millionaires as we create new ways in sound and mind, to be ourselves, to be together, and to be with you.” You had to be there!

Raquel Martins

Another enjoyable set at LS on day # one was delivered by Raquel Martins. The Portugese born, London-based [since she was 17], artist, songwriter and producer has been making an impact on the UK music scene with her unique blend of Latin-infused alt’ soul. Her sound sits at the intersection of Brazilian music, alternative jazz and lo-fi indie, combined with electronic elements.

After working as a session and touring guitarist and musician for many established artists such as Amaarae, Biig Piig, Rina Sawayama, Mabel, Poppy Ajudha, to name a few, she released her debut EP “The Way” in 2021 and has been focusing on her solo project since then. In 2023, she released her second EP “Empty Flower”, and she is currently finishing producing her debut album.

The DJs at the Blue In Green venue on Friday night were superb: Luke Una, Wildblood & Queenie, and Daisha & Faro and kept the campers happy, warm and dry away from the bad weather. Saturday morning: lovely sunshine……….Yaaaay!

Friday fun at Love Supreme


  • Check out coverage of Saturday and Sunday in our Live Zone….




Main photos: Manja Williams

Words: Steve Best


Sananda Maitreya photo: PR-supplied

Chaka Khan photo: PR-supplied

Olivia Dean photo x 2: Romy Caton-Jones

Christone Kingfish Ingram photo: Colin Hart



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