Ben Tucker (December 13, 1930 – June 4, 2013)

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of one of Savannah’s greatest jazz musicians and advocates, Ben Tucker. The Savannah Music Festival shared many momentous occasions and memories with Ben, having celebrated both his 80th and 75th birthdays with special productions during previous festivals. Regular SMF artists such as Marcus Printup, Kevin Bales, Wycliffe Gordon and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra loved playing and performing with him, frequently calling him up on stage to sit in with their ensembles at SMF concerts. Ben Tucker was an icon for jazz and for general goodwill in Savannah, and his energy and enthusiasm will be missed dearly.