Tag Archives: Savannah Music Festival

Notable World Music Programming at Savannah Music Festival 2018

The Savannah Music Festival has announced the world music artists set to perform in 2018. The festival next year will take place March 29th through April 14th, 2018, at a number of venues throughout Savannah’s Historic District.

As usual, the festival selected first rate world music acts. Mali’s Trio Da Kali will share a bill with South African guitarist Derek Gripper (a kora music practitioner).

Malian kora maestro Toumani Diabaté is set to perform with his son Sidiki Diabaté in A World of Strings, an original production also including Brazilian music played by Savannah Music Festival Associate Artistic Director and mandolinist Mike Marshall and pianist Jovino Santos Neto (who will also play a solo show).


Diego El Cigala – Photo by Anya Bartels Suermondt


Iberian sounds include the great Dominican Republic-based Spanish flamenco singer Diego El Cigala and Portuguese fado singer António Zambujo.

Cellist Mike Block will perform with fellow Silk Road Ensemble musician Sandeep Das on tabla.

The festivals’ Latin Dance Party features the unrivaled Cuban son ensemble, Septeto Santiaguero.

Festival favorites Lúnasa (Ireland) and Tim O’Brien will team up for a concert of Irish and Appalachian-influenced music.

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas play on a double bill with an electrifying new all-female acoustic music quartet called The Goodbye Girls.

For ticket information and the rest of the programming, including classical music, American roots music, jazz, theatrical productions and films, visit www.savannahmusicfestival.org.

headline photo: Septeto Santiaguero with El Canario


Top American Roots Music Acts at Savannah Music Festival 2018

Savannah Music Festival has announced its 2018 programming. The festival will take place March 29th through April 14th, 2018, at several venues throughout Savannah’s Historic District.

In the American roots area, bluegrass sensations Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and Claire Lynch Band will share the stage on opening night, followed the next day by the Mission Temple Fireworks Revival with Paul Thorn Band and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Songwriter-guitarist Margaret Glaspy is set to perform on a double bill with Argentine composer, singer and guitarist Juana Molina.

Tulsa’s John Moreland will share an alt-country bill with Nashville songwriter and guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan.

New acoustic music projects include Hawktail and the Savannah Music Festival debut of Kittel & Co., guitarist Tommy Emmanuel plays on a co-bill with Jayme Stone’s Folklife and the original production The Voice is a Traveler features Moira Smiley and Anna & Elizabeth.


Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal at Savannah Music Festival 2015 – Photo by Frank Stewart


Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal will return to the Lucas stage as a duo and Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives are set to play Ships of the Sea, as do the North Mississippi Allstars.

Recent MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Rhiannon Giddens will present her first theater show at Savannah Music Festival, and Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn return with music from their new album, Echo in the Valley.

For ticket information and the rest of the programming, including classical music, world music, jazz theatrical productions and films go to www.savannahmusicfestival.org.

headline photo: Rhonda Vincent & The Rage


Superb World Music and Roots Programming at Savannah Music Festival 2017

Earls of Leicester
Earls of Leicester

The Savannah Music Festival 2017 will present an impressive set of world music and American roots sounds. The festival will take place from March 23 to April 8, 2017.

The lineup includes acclaimed Québécois traditional ensembles Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan; Canary Island timple (a small Spanish guitar) maestro Germán López; Dom Flemons; Foghorn Stringband; Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms; cellist and vocalist Leyla McCalla; Haitian vodou drum and dance ensemble Chouk Bwa Libète; dobro maestro Jerry Douglas with celebrated bluegrass band the Earls of Leicester; Molsky’s Mountain Drifters; Irish accordionist Máirtín O’Connor; Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie; Holt & Coleman; banjo player Noam Pikelny; Sufi singer Sanam Marvi; 80-year-old virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal; mandolinist Danilo Brito’s choro quintet; Edgar Meyer & Mike Marshall; and admired Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha with an original score for the 1930 Dovzhenko silent film, Earth.

Tickets to the 2017 festival are available online at savannahmusicfestival.org, by phone at 912-525-5050 and in person at 216 E. Broughton Street in Savannah.


Savannah Music Festival Announces 2017 Program

Leyla McCalla
Leyla McCalla

Savannah Music Festival announced the 2017 lineup. The festival will run from March 23 to April 8, 2017. Concerts will take place Savannah’s historic district.
The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) features world music, folk, jazz and classical music.

“Our organization is entering its 28th season committed to facilitating world-class celebrations of the musical arts. This year’s lineup is more artistically diverse than any prior season, spotlighting the power of live music throughout fine art, pop fare and folk art,” said Savannah Music Festival Executive & Artistic Director Rob Gibson.

Highlights include a Piano Showdown with Cuban virtuoso Chucho Valdés, Panamanian star Danilo Pérez and Savannah Music Festival Associate Artistic Director Marcus Roberts. The world music and American roots program is also impressive, featuring acclaimed artists from the USA, Canada, Haiti, Ukraine, Canary Islands (Spain) and Brazil.

Tickets to the 2017 festival go on sale at 10am EST on November 11, 2016, online at savannahmusicfestival.org, by phone at 912-525-5050 and in person at 216 E. Broughton Street in Savannah.


Savannah Music Festival Announces 2010 Season Featuring Unique Pairings and Original Productions

Savannah Music Festival’s 2010 season is comprised of original productions, unique pairings, and a focus on instrumental virtuosity, including world-class artists in jazz, classical, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and a wide variety of other American and international musical traditions. Set in the idyllic atmosphere of Savannah in the early spring, these unique programs combine to create a musical arts event with worldwide resonance. Savannah Music Festival (SMF) runs from March 18 through April 3.

With the ever widening gap between commercial music and the performing arts,” remarks SMF Executive & Artistic Director Rob Gibson, “we want to serve as a bridge that connects audiences with a wide range of first-class artistry, while also illuminating musical traditions from all over the world.”

A multi-generational gathering of great mandolinists featuring Mike Marshall, Chris Thile, and Caterina Lichtenberg reaches back to the origins of the instrument in Italian music from the 1600s, also spotlighting the mandolin’s history up to the present day. The most formidable husband/wife team in the history of southern rock/blues, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, perform a one-time only set of ‘60s and ‘70s soul music.

The Big World of Music series pairs innovative American instrumentalists with international virtuosos in Wizards and Gypsies: The Assad Brothers and the Roby Lakatos Ensemble; Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing! and the Renaud Garcia-Fons Trio; and the Bill Frisell Trio with Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba.

Divas of Country Music features two of neo-traditional country music’s biggest talents: Patty Loveless and Kathy Mattea.

The passionate and gritty blues, rhythm & soul of Ruthie Foster intersects with the intimate and rich sound of Savannah native Kristina Train, whose debut recording is being released this month on Blue Note Records.

Major Minors: Teenage acoustic music sensations Sarah Jarosz and Sierra Noble share a bill showcasing their youthful virtuosity and their respective trios.

Jazz elder statesmen Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski and Howard Alden are paired with the youthful and hard-swinging Gerald Clayton Trio.

Mike Marshall’s innovative Big Trio and western swing/alt-country rockers The Belleville Outfit perform on the opening night of the festival.

The “first family of bluegrass,” Cherryholmes, shares the stage with North Carolina singer/multi-instrumentalist Shannon Whitworth.

The New Orleans Blues Party features the Henry Butler Trio joined by several special guests and jazz greats throughout the evening. Additional jazz and blues productions include the annual Piano Showdown, which this year pits Butler, Marcus Roberts, Gerald Clayton and Dick Hyman at opposite ends of the stage, on different Steinways, performing solos and duets.

Ben Tucker at 80 celebrates the birthday of Savannah’s beloved jazz bassist/composer in a program featuring such jazz stalwarts as Marcus Printup, Wycliffe Gordon and Kevin Bales. The prolific jazz pianist Dick Hyman plays an all-Fats Waller concert. All Star Swing Summit, the culmination of SMF’s Swing Central High School Jazz Band Competition & Workshop, features the Clayton Brothers, the Marcus Roberts Trio, the Ted Nash Ensemble, and the Georgia Horns featuring Chris Crenshaw, Wycliffe Gordon and Marcus Printup.

The 2010 festival also includes recitals by Yefim Bronfman, Nicole Cabell, and Gabriela Montero and Gautier Capuçon. A wealth of concerts include performances by She & Him (M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel), the Emerson String Quartet (two distinct programs of Dvorak), David Finckel, Wu Han and Philip Setzer (performing both Schubert Piano Trios), a gospel music workshop and show with James Bignon and the SMF Mass Choir, a Zydeco Dance Party with Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, The Del McCoury Band with Curtis Blackwell & the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, family shows with Roger Day and RJ & the Upbeats, an organ recital by Charles Tompkins, David Greely’s Cajun Fiddle Showcase, the 17th annual American Traditions Vocal Competition, the U.S. Army Strings, the Tattnall River Shapenote Singers, Ken Peplowski and Howard Alden, and Gerald Clayton.


Savannah Music Festival 2009 Will Present the Most Artistically Diverse Season in the History of the Organization


Savannah (Georgia), USA – The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) announces its most artistically diverse lineup to date for the upcoming 2009 festival, including several commissioned works and a wealth of original productions showcasing a wide variety of American and international musical traditions.

Committed to enhancing the cultural landscape of Savannah, SMF programs combine elegance and soul in a way that mirrors the history and culture of the remarkable city. The unique musical arts event is one of the highlights of springtime on the southeastern U.S. coast and a distinctive destination for cultural travelers.

The 2009 festival takes place between March 19 and April 5 in historic downtown Savannah and features more than 100 musical performances in intimate settings.

Original Productions & Other Highlights

• Long Time Travelin’, a celebration of American folksong traditions: Rayna Gellert of Uncle Earl with Patrick Sauber, old-time balladeer Tim Eriksen, National Heritage Fellow Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Tatnall River Shapenote Singers, and host Jim Lauderdale, an acclaimed Nashville singer-songwriter

• Jazz Now and Forever, a series of jazz greats including Dianne Reeves, Chick Corea & John McLaughlin’s Five Peace Band featuring Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett and Brian Blade, and The Clayton Brothers

• The Gershwin Songbook, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and classical pianist Sebastian Knauer performing the greatest compositions of this masterful American composer

• The Blues was Born Here, an authentic southern blues review showcasing Piedmont blues masters Cephas & Wiggins on a one-time only bill with Georgia’s own Beverly “Guitar” Watkins

• Resplendent Recitals, a series highlighting the world’s finest recitalists including tenor Ian Bostridge, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Marc-Andre Hamelin and Sebastian Knauer

• Big World of Music, leading international artists such as fado star Mariza, Mike Marshall & Darol Anger with Väsen, Bela Fleck’s Africa Project featuring virtuosos Toumani Diabate, Vusi Mahlasela, and D’Gary, and Indian maestros Zakir Hussain & Shiv Kumar Sharma.

• The 16th annual American Traditions Competition, some of the nation’s most talented aspiring vocalists competing for more than $30,000 in prize monies

• The three-night Savannah Jazz Party featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Howard Paul and Ken Peplowski; the Ellis Marsalis Quartet; and the 2009 Piano Showdown with solos and duos by pianists Eddie Palmieri, Henry Butler, Aaron Goldberg and Bob Seeley

• The Complete Brandenburg Concertos performed by the Academy of Ancient Music with Richard Egarr

• Organ Stops, a six-concert series featuring such internationally acclaimed organists as Janette Fishell

• Everybody Dance Now, a three-concert series of dance parties featuring Eddie Palmieri & La Perfecta II, Zydeco great Cedric Watson, and the rising young Cajun ensemble, Feufollet

• Georgia On My Mind, a four-concert series including Savannah’s own Bobby Lee Rodgers & Friends in a one-time only event, as well as the Marcus Printup Quartet, Caroline Herring, and Sacred Harp Singing with Tim Eriksen

• Swing Central, a three-day high school jazz band and competition capped off by Battle Royale, the closing night finale concert featuring a cutting contest with trumpeters, saxophonists, trombonists and rhythm sections. Featured performers: Marcus Roberts Trio, The Clayton Brothers, Wycliffe Gordon, Terrell Stafford, Scotty Barnhart and others

• Roots & Twang, a varied series featuring Neko Case with Crooked Fingers, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, The Infamous Stringdusters and The Lovell Sisters, and The Blues was Born Here

• Tap master Savion Glover, combining two different projects on a Savannah stage

Tickets go on sale at 9 am EST on November 13 and are available online at www.savannahmusicfestival.org or by phone at 912-525-5050.


Top World Music and American Roots Acts Make Savannah Music Festival a Hot Ticket

Ana Moura
Ana Moura

Savannah (Georgia), USA – The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) unveiled its ambitious 2008 program, a 17-day musical arts marathon featuring nearly 100 events that comprise Georgia’s largest music festival.

The not-for-profit organization announced that between March 20 and April 5, 2008, its expansion will continue with an array of premieres, one-time-only productions, singular U.S. appearances by international artists and a wealth of educational initiatives. The 19th annual festival will be spread throughout theatres, auditoriums, clubs, open-air thoroughfares and historic places of worship in the old seaport city at the start of its 275th anniversary year.

Savannah Music Festival continues to combine a diverse array of regional and American musical genres – jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco, country and bluegrass – with an amalgamation of acclaimed international styles performed by artists whose works are often unfamiliar to U.S. audiences.

More than 50 artists from outside the country appear during the 2008 festival, including the brilliant Brazilian mandolin player Hamilton de Holanda, who leads his explosive quintet in its only U.S. engagement. The 25-year old Spanish vocal prodigy Antonio Pitingo, in only his second U.S. appearance, displays his “flamenco soul” singing that has captured the imagination of his native country. Contemporary West African music (Angelique Kidjo), modern Portuguese fado singing (Ana Moura), traditional Persian artistry (Ali Akbar Moradi) and acclaimed Indian dance (Nrityagram) are also showcased in special productions.

The 2008 SMF includes extensive amounts of original programming, making it one of the nation’s most distinctive musical arts events. SMF 2008 premieres commissioned works by drummer Stewart Copeland, just off of a world tour with The Police, and jazz trombone great Wycliffe Gordon.

Inventive and singular productions such as The World of Slide Guitar features virtuosos Jerry Douglas, Derek Trucks, and Debashish Bhattacharya, while Piano Showdown showcases masters such as Hank Jones, Marcus Roberts & Eric Reed.

An unprecedented array of classical music concerts spotlights Sensations, six originally conceived chamber music programs under the musical direction of Daniel Hope, and a rare performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Robert Spano conducting pianist Garrick Ohlsson playing the third piano concerto by Rachmaninoff.

We relish producing this panoply of events in the backdrop of one of America’s most beautiful and historic cities,” said Rob Gibson, SMF Executive & Artistic Director. “Our primary objective continues to be introducing more people to engaging musical experiences because they provide us with meaning and with a distinctive type of pleasure and emotional stimulation. The musical arts help us to not only develop our own individual senses, but they provide a common bond that benefits the general populace.”

Educational initiatives also remain at the forefront of SMF’s mission. The expanded SWING CENTRAL High School Jazz Band Competition and Workshop offers an opportunity for first-class instruction to some of America’s finest young musicians over three days of workshops with jazz masters in a variety of clinics and master classes. Another SMF series affords more than 13,000 students from surrounding counties the opportunity to attend age-appropriate concerts featuring outstanding musicians in historic theaters.

The Savannah Music Festival is Georgia’s largest musical arts festival and one of the most distinctive cross-genre music festivals in the world. SMF is building a robust history on its devotion to living, vibrant musical traditions, regularly producing premieres, commissioned works and rare regional appearances by renowned artists in jazz, classical, blues, bluegrass, gospel and other styles of American and international roots music. Artists collaborate, students and master musicians intermingle, vocalists showcase their talents and communities uplift and celebrate over seventeen specially conceived days and nights.

Tickets and series passes are available online at www.savannahmusicfestival.org, by phone at 912-525-5050 or at the box office at 216 E. Broughton Street in Savannah.