Savannah Music Fest 2010 Season

Highlights include Wilco, Wynton Marsalis, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi

Tickets are now on sale for the 2010 Savannah Music Festival (SMF), which runs from March 18 through April 3. Opening with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chinese superstar pianist Lang Lang. The 21st edition of Georgia's largest music festival features its most diverse array of acts ever. Called "one of the best events around the world" by The Times of London, SMF'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. Tickets are available here.

SMF Executive & Artistic Director Rob Gibson remarks, "With the ever widening gap between commercial music and the performing arts, 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."

Savannah Music Festival Original Productions
For the sixth year, SMF Associate Artistic Director and acclaimed violinist Daniel Hope has curated an original chamber music series called Sensations. Daniel Hope and friends welcome first-time guests and musical collaborators Gabriela Montero, Gautier Capuçon, Mark O'Connor, and Jeffrey Kahane.

Highlights of the series include performances of both sextets written by Brahms, a program entitled Forbidden Music, featuring works by composers incarcerated in the Thereseinstadt concentration camp including Schulhoff, Schull, Klein and Haas performed at Temple Mickve Israel (the third oldest Jewish temple in America), and an American music program featuring an O'Connor String Quartet, Heifetz' Gershwin arrangements, and works by Williams, Copland, and Bernstein. Pianists Sebastian Knauer and Jeffrey Kahane will perform a one-time only duo recital.

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.

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 set of '60s and '70s soul music.

Unique Pairings and Double Bills
· 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.

About the Savannah Music Festival
The Savannah Music Festival presents a world-class celebration of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah, Georgia. The 2010 festival runs from March 18 through April 3, including more than 100 performances of world-class jazz, classical, blues, bluegrass, gospel and other genres of American and international roots music in intimate venues throughout the historic district of Savannah.

The entire festival line up can be viewed here.

[Published on: 12/8/09]

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