Savannah Music Festival Features
Unprecedented Array of Artistry In 18th Annual Event

Susan Tedeschi
January 31, 2007 (Savannah, Georgia) — The 18th Annual Savannah Music Festival (SMF) includes a stellar line­up of diverse artists including Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Susan Tedeschi, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Marty Stuart, the Borodin Quartet, Dianne Reeves, Jerry Douglas Band and Anoushka Shankar. From March 15 through ­April 1, 2007, the Festival presents nearly 100 world-­class events that highlight symphonic, blues, jazz, gospel, chamber, bluegrass and world music as well as dance and film and its 14th annual vocal competition.

"The 2007 season is filled with quality musical artists at the top of their field and in their genre," said S. Hart Williford, chairman of the Festival board. "This convergence of artists will once again transform one of America's most beautiful and historic cities into a cultural gathering place where musicians can share their talents, and audiences can revel in inventive productions night after night."

"We remain committed to producing unique musical arts events that offer the joy and adventure of music and music ­making to as many people as possible. For 18 days, we want Savannah to be an amazing destination for music lovers," added Rob Gibson, executive and artistic director of the Festival.

2007 Season Highlights include:

  • A St. Patrick's Day weekend kick­off that includes performances Celtic folk powerhouse Leahy; a first-ever double ­bill of four­-time Grammy winner and jazz great Dianne Reeves with rocking blues singer and guitarist Susan Tedeschi; and a performance by the acclaimed Irish ensemble Flook.

  • A "Savannah Jazz Party" featuring four consecutive evenings and a myriad of jazz styles ranging from ragtime and stride piano to hot jazz and big band swing. Featured artists include Kenny Davern, John Pizzarelli, Marcus Roberts, John Jorgenson, Wycliffe Gordon, Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Terry Waldo and more.

  • A performance of Bach's "St. Matthew Passion," one of only three U.S. performances (others in NYC and L.A.) by the Wiener Akademie Baroque Orchestra and Musica Angelica directed by Martin Haselbock.

  • A performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Robert Spano featuring violin soloist Daniel Hope, the Festival's associate artistic director, performing the "Violin Concerto" by Brahms.

  • A vocal recital series featuring three world renowned singers all making their Savannah debut: soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, tenor Mark Padmore and bass Morrison Robinson.

  • Another specially conceived chamber music series, "Sensations," featuring an array of international players under the musical direction of Daniel Hope, performed at the Telfair Museum of Art.

  • A litany of Savannah debuts by other celebrated artists including Anoushka Shankar, Leahy, Flook, Noche Flamenca, The Boston Camerata, Ivan Moravec, The Borodin Quartet and Plena Libre.

    The Savannah Music Festival is comprised of several unique series developed around musical genres. Series in the 2007 Festival are as follows:

  • Jazz Now & Forever, sponsored by Robert and Jean Faircloth, features John Pizzarelli and the New York All­Star Big Band; a one­time co­-bill of Dianne Reeves and Susan Tedeschi; and a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

  • Savannah Jazz Party, sponsored by Critz, Inc. Mercedes­Benz, includes the "Piano Showdown 2007" with Marcus Roberts, Terry Waldo, Bob Seeley and Bob Baldori; "Le Jazz Hot" with the John Jorgenson Quintet, the Kenny Davern Quartet, and guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden and James Chirillo; and a program entitled "Swing Time" featuring Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Davern and the Marcus Roberts Trio.

  • Memorial Health Feel Better Series includes Indian sitarist Anoushka Shankar; the traditional Celtic group Leahy; Flook, a contemporary Irish ensemble; and one of Spain's leading flamenco troupes, Noche Flamenca with Soledad Barrio.

  • With Passion and Spirit, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Harrison, includes a presentation of Bach's eternal masterpiece, "St. Matthew Passion" featuring Musica Angelica with the Wiener Akademie Baroque Orchestra and directed by Martin Haselböck; a performance by one of America's preeminent early music ensembles, The Boston Camerata; and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with conductor Robert Spano.

  • Sensations, sponsored by Frances and John Kane, showcases Daniel Hope's curatorial and collaborative skills through four unique concerts featuring works by Dohnanyi, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Schubert, and Bach. In addition to Hope on violin, the elite corps of musicians includes Zuill Bailey, cello; Kristian Bezuidenhout, piano; Philip Dukes, viola; Annika Hope, double­bass; Tim Jones, horn; Benny Kim, violin; Sebastian Knauer, piano; Josephine Knight, cello; Peter Kolkay, bassoon; Patrick Messina, clarinet; Mark Padmore, tenor; CarlaMaria Rodrigues, viola; and Deborah Workman, oboe.

  • Singular Voices, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Jepson, Jr., features the great voices of tenor Mark Padmore, bass Morris Robinson, and soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, each in a solo performance set in Savannah's intimate historic venues.

  • Great Performers, sponsored by the Telfair Museum of Art, includes pianist Ivan Moravec performing Mozart, Chopin and Debussy; a unique paring of Philippe Entremont and Sebastian Knauer; cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu HanM; and the Beaux Arts Trio.

  • The Connect Americana Series, sponsored by Charles and Rosalie Morris, highlights the mountain folk music of Uncle Earl; blues rocker Susan Tedeschi in a co­bill with four­time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves; Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives; and Steamboat Bill, Jr., a Buster Keaton film set to live piano by Rick Friend.

  • Groove Masters, sponsored by Kennickell Print and Communications, includes three "move the tables and dance" concerts in Orleans Hall: a Funky Dance Party featuring Porter-Batiste-Stoltz ; a Latin Dance Party featuring Plena Libre; and a Zydeco Dance Party featuring Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie.

  • Georgia on My Mind, sponsored by the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Savannah Morning News, a multi­disciplinary celebration of home­grown music featuring the film, Awake My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp followed by the vocal harmony of the Echoes of Hoboken singing in the Sacred Harp tradition; a performance by Atlanta native singer­songwriter Shawn Mullins; and three lecture/performances entitled "Music in Eighteenth Century Georgia" by Dr. Ron Byrnside; "Bernice Johnson Reagon, My Life as an Artist"; and "Georgian on My Mind, Music in Georgia, 1760­1830" with keyboardist Ann Acker.

  • Citi Trends Gospel Truth is the second annual Gospel Workshop and performance under the direction of James Bignon, who will perform with Savannah Music Festival Mass Choir.

  • The American Traditions Competition is the 14th annual incarnation of this unique showcase featuring singers from all over the country, competing for a top prize of $10,000 while fostering the continuity of American vocal music.

    Music at Midday again provides a free celebration of diverse music genres by placing instrumentalists, organists, soloists and choirs in the city's most venerable and beautiful landmarks.

  • The 2nd Annual High School Jazz Band Workshop, sponsored by Atlanta Gas Light, is led by jazz greats Marcus Roberts, Jim Ketch, Wycliffe Gordon, Don Braden and other renowned jazz performer/educators and also includes a Workshop Honors Band who will open for John Pizzarelli and the New York All­Star Big Band.

  • The Gulfstream Music Education Series, sponsored by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., provides free access to age­appropriate world­class performances for more than 17,000 students from a 13­county area. These concerts are for students only and are not open to the public.

    Tickets to Festival events – March 15 - April 1, 2007 – are available for purchase online at and from the Trustees Theater box office (216 E. Broughton Street, 912-525-5050). SMF reports brisk ticket sales and recommends advance ticket purchase to the Festival's 18-days of jazz, blues, classical, symphonic, rock, country, bluegrass, world music and competitive vocal events. Tickets range in price from $15-$85 for each performance, with some events free.

    About the Savannah Music Festival:

    The 2007 Savannah Music Festival takes place March 15 – April 1, 2007. The 18th annual event is dedicated to presenting 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 at the largest music festival in Georgia. For more information, visit or call the Festival offices at (912) 234­3378.


    [Published on: 1/31/07]

    Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

    You'll receive

    show alerts

    when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

    free tickets

    , gain the ability to

    share your personalized live music calendar

    and much more. Join JamBase!



    lovemusicfood starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/1/2007 09:10AM
    0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

    Really laid back town. Lived there for a year. Saw Wayne Shorter's band and Lewish Nash's band during the music fest when I was there.

    stairway to freebird starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/12/2007 06:14AM
    0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

    stairway to freebird

    yea for anoushka shankar, stellar sitar player! pbs will also rock out, I'm confident.