In the Media

In the Media


“One of the Southeast’s most approachable festivals… It is this kind of experimental but intuitive programming that gives the Savannah fest its improvisational gusto.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Even more enticing is the vibrant Savannah Music Festival, a 17-day celebration of stellar live jazz, blues, folk, global roots and classical music. It’s an easy-to-attend (and enjoy) concert series… ‘You can dip into indoor and outdoor performances, ticketed big name draws like Buddy Guy, or smaller lunchtime events to get a flavor of this southern festival,’ says Klurman. ‘It’s been a local favorite for more than 30 years, but I’m betting that with the new focus on Savannah as a truly notable music destination, that the Savannah Music Festival will be at the top of music lovers’ lists in the coming years.’”

“The thing that the Savannah Music Festival excels in programming more than anything is bringing one-of-a-kind acts to Savannah, such as Sona Jobarteh, Kodo and Terence Blanchard, that wouldn’t make it to Georgia without the festival. The curated jazz line-ups rival, or surpass, festivals in New Orleans and Chicago. Even associate artistic director Philip Dukes presents a program that could sate the demands of frequent classical concertgoers while enticing those not familiar or with misinformed views of the genre.”
Savannah Morning News

“EVERY edition of the Savannah Music Festival seems to bring one particular, very special show that perfectly encapsulates why the Festival is so unique, and so beloved. Last night’s transcendent double bill of Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas at the Lucas Theatre is one of those shows.”
The Savannahian

“With a program crafted to blend local and international artists and highlight GRAMMY winners, this popular festival sells out quickly to visitors and locals alike.”
Southern Living

“The Savannah Music Festival is well worth the journey.”
Charleston City Paper

“The festival consistently brings an eclectic mix of music to our city, offering audiences the chance to see world-class acts in venues that they know and love. The SMF team is notorious for pairing artists together for unexpected bills, weaving threads of music together into one fascinating show. They also work throughout the year to foster a love of music, particularly through its Musical Explorers program for students.”
The Savannahian

“What we like most, though, is the varied music scene, including the Savannah Music Festival, which spreads across nearly three full weeks in the spring, with artists ranging from folk to jazz to blues.” Reader’s Digest

“The Savannah Music Festival has long been one of the region’s largest musical arts events… bigger than ever… an eclectic array of acts.”
Charleston City Paper

“…one of Georgia’s most celebrated music events in showcasing performances by legends and newcomers spanning jazz, classical, roots, and blues genres.”
Live Sound International


“[The Savannah Music Festival] …has become a magnet for those of us who like to have our listening borders stretched.”
Toronto Star

“A veritable United Nations of performing artists has assembled on the banks of the Savannah River to produce one of the continent’s most comprehensive celebrations of the art of music.”
Toronto Star

“One of the hottest nights of the Savannah Music Festival comes with the epic one-two punch of the Swing Central finale immediately followed by the Late Night Jam at the Morris Center. It is the closest the Festival comes to a can’t-miss ticket and a 100 percent guaranteed special experience.”
Connect Savannah

“…one of the Southeast’s most creative cross-cultural musical events.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“…a place where both performer and listener find a welcoming, open atmosphere based on shared appreciation of musical discovery and adventure.”
Perceptive Travel

“The fact that so many geniuses of jazz can grace a single stage in little Savannah, Ga., even for just one amazing night, is another testament to the commitment to quality of the Savannah Music Festival.”
Connect Savannah

“This worldly potpourri of musical accomplishment, this diversity of styles and performers, is what makes this 17-day event such a unique delight.”
The Post & Courier


“The festival, now in its 29th year, has become the Southeast’s premier musical event, and one of the country’s most compelling gathering points for great musicians from around the world. The eclectic mix of styles, low-key vibe and beautiful setting makes it a unique experience.”
The Post & Courier

“One of the continent’s most innovative cultural enterprises.”
Toronto Star

“This festival-closing set was the last hurrah of an over two-week celebration of music and culture for the city of Savannah. The festival hosts shows around town from nearly every genre, drawing in music aficionados of all types and ages for a communal sense of joy. The finale doubled as the inaugural event at the brand new Trustees Garden outdoor performance space, and things went off without a hitch…. As civic gatherings go, this was as pure and wholesome as any you could find and refreshing to the mind and soul.”
Live for Live Music

“This 29th edition celebrated the accustomed diverse blend of blues, country, classical, latin, cajun, flamenco, bluegrass and African musics.”
Jazzwise (UK)

“The city’s venues, many of them fascinating historic sites in and of themselves, come alive with the sounds of jazz, country, folk, blues, roots, classical and everything in between.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A natural crossroads for musicians, the ideas they share, and the differing ways they express those ideas. One of the ways Savannah celebrates this – and invites the world to join in – is through the Savannah Music Festival.”
Perceptive Travel

“…a large-scale, lovingly produced event.”
Hissing Lawns

“The 17-day Savannah Music Festival is moving up in the world of cross-genre musical celebrations, easily ranking as the largest music-oriented arts event in Georgia and drawing audiences from all 50 states and many European countries.”

“SMF deserves high praise for the programming of the exceptional talent for the finale and for dealing so well with the logistics of producing an all-day event with three stages and thousands of ticketholders in a space that had never been used before.”
Savannah Morning News

“Savannah Music Festival embraces all forms of American roots music…”

“The Trustees’ Garden complex and the Savannah Music Festival are setting a new standard in Savannah. One that has the potential to to endear us not only as a target destination in the South, but also a great place to live and work.”
Savannah Morning News

“For 29 years now, the Savannah Music Festival has been bringing world class musicians, along with their fans from near and far to the Hostess City. An economic and cultural boon has been the results of what Rob Gibson and his team work so hard to produce year after year.”

“…the festival can loosely be termed American roots music, although the classical concerts mostly feature old European music, and many of the traditional roots gigs include artists from Africa, Europe, and Asia. Jazz, blues, country, classical, Cajun, flamenco, bluegrass: all are welcome here, with just about the only omission being any form of extreme experimental music…”
Brooklyn Rail


“A 17-day celebration of all sorts of sounds, this annual sonic binge draws listeners from all over the map willing to have their ears opened.”
Toronto Star

“…a terrific sampling of many musical styles, enjoy dynamic performances by famous headliners and encounter lesser-known talent you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the region. The festival is arguably the most important of its kind in the Southeast. Its diverse programming, top-drawer musicians, relaxed vibe and bucolic setting make it a must for serious and casual music lovers alike.”
Charleston Post & Courier

“The Savannah Music Festival is one of the gleaming musical treasures of the Southeast. Unlike the classically focused Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., the 28-year-old Savannah festival has built its audience by offering focused jazz, Americana, bluegrass and classical concerts that prize collaboration and inventive programming.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“The element of surprise and the promise of an exploratory journey are qualities that distinguish the SMF from other festivals.”
Georgia Music

“…emblematic of all that jazz can say and do.”

“The Savannah Music Festival represents a global notion that art, and especially music, is inherently human, and does not belong to a single group or ideology… the finest in roots, traditional and classical music with a little bit for everyone.”
Savannah Morning News

“SMF has made such excellent programming seem routine. Every so often, it’s worth looking afresh at the festival’s sheer ambition and considering all the ways it can continue to grow.
Savannah Morning News

“The Savannah Music Festival can always be counted on to bring at least one rare and beautiful world music gem to town each year, an artist or band of incredible skill and impact but generally very difficult to see outside their home country.”
Connect Savannah

“…it was Hope and Crawford-Phillips, playing off each other, who built to a climax of resounding joy — ecstatic, yearning, and sweet.”
Classical Voice North America, review of Ebene Quartet with Daniel Hope & Simon Crawford-Phillips

“As the audience gathered around the musicians in a circle, the concert hall became a sacred place blessed to the high rafters with joyful voodoo magic.”
Songlines, review of Haitian Roots: Leyla McCalla feat. Dom Flemons/Chouk Bwa Libéte

“Savannah Music Festival spoils its patrons. Not only do they feature some of the world’s most talented musicians, they also present each show with the highest level of production value.”
Savannah Morning News


“What sets the Savannah Music Festival apart, and what brings tourists to the city in droves, is the musical diversity of this cross-genre festival: Nowhere else can you see Punch Brothers bluegrass acoustic right after violin virtuoso Daniel Hope, then hear a band from Mali or an opera singer from Sweden. It’s dazzling, and we love it.”
Southern Living, from “Innovators Changing the South, 2016”

“The Savannah Music Festival gives us one more reason to love Savannah. With music that covers a wide range of styles — from jazz and country to classical and Zydeco and everything in between — the Savannah Music Festival does a lot of different things, and even better: it does them all well.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Over the years, I couldn’t help taking note, with increasing wonderment, that the festival lineup was impressively diverse and appealing. This year, Executive and Artistic Director Rob Gibson and his collaborators put together especially compelling programs of classical, jazz, Americana/folk, dance and world music.”
Charleston Post & Courier

“Georgian charm and high-quality roots music make for a delightful programme… this is a diary crammed with the highest quality classic practitioners of nearly every form of roots music on the planet.”
The Arts Desk (UK)

“They’re still making it a better experience for jazz lovers.”

“…an astonishing array of musical productions — three, four and more each day — ranging from jazz trios, brass bands, chamber ensembles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to opera singers, flamenco guitarists and rock, country, gospel, bluegrass, Cajun and zydeco groups.”

“Wycliffe Gordon feels right at home in Savannah… Gordon constantly goaded his players into greater expression, encouraging slurs, blasts and other forms of considered luminosity.”

“When pianist Marcus Roberts arrived to play the blues, his crisp phrases possessed a compelling clarity.”

“Milnes’ warmth toward Prague parallels his growing affection for Savannah. He feels the community’s love and has the rewarding sense of filling a void – and he sees the synergy between his other VOICExperience enterprises and his contributions to SMF.”
Classical Voice North America

“The more than 100 performances comprising the just-completed Savannah Music Festival were all heard via Meyer Sound PAs.”
Pro Sound News, from “Savannah Music Festival Makes Most of Meyer” (Top Story, 04.12.16)

“Blues, bluegrass, country music, jazz, gospel, and Celtic music are local traditions in music that continue to flourish in Savannah. Over the years, it has also become a crossroads for classical musicians, those who work in opera, and musicians who bring their native traditions from many parts of the globe. The Savannah Music Festival celebrates and encourages all these aspects of music.”
Wandering Educators

“One of the most unique aspects of the Savannah Music Festival is the frequent and always-stimulating unusual double bills – two acts, separated by an intermission, that on paper seem to have little to nothing to do with each other but which in reality work beautifully in tandem.”
Connect Savannah

“Another year, another wondrously entertaining Savannah Music Festival is on the books… Georgia’s most diverse and economically impactful musical celebration…”
Georgia Music

“For years now, the SMF has featured world-class performers and top-notch production values. Over time, the festival — which is heavy on classical, jazz, and other genres we don’t cover much here at hissing lawns (hello, new contributors? anyone?) — has increasingly offered intriguing acts from the worlds of rock, pop, and world music. ”
Hissing Lawns


“A festival for newcomers and connoisseurs alike, just as the city of Savannah also attracts tourists from all different camps: first-timers, who find everything they need in this manageable town as well as seasoned US visitors, all too familiar with New York and Los Angeles and looking for a new kind of variety.”
Die Welt (Germany)

“A stellar collection of musical performances scattered throughout the city’s congenial historic district… Outside of its economic benefits and its boost to tourism, the festival has helped grow the local arts community and put Savannah on the world map.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“…surely the broadest palette of any comparable festival in the world, ranging from country to folk to jazz to chamber…This can be a place to immerse yourself for a few days, with breaks to enjoy the glories of Savannah in peak azalea season.”
Classical Voice North America

“…an extremely well-curated mix of jazz, classical, rock and traditional American musical forms… There is also a very commendable and sprawling music education program.”

Gramophone Magazine’s “Event of the Month” for March 2015

One of Songlines Magazine’s Top 25 International Festivals in 2015

“For all the disparate and sundry categories of music that appear annually on the SMF calendar, the overall message is always one of inclusive conjugation and peaceful unification.”
Georgia Music

“The Savannah Music Festival is a great event for enjoying the music that we know, but it also provides seemingly endless chances to discover the new, or at least the new to us.”
Savannah Morning News

“It just keeps getting better and better. A marathon of world-class music, the 2015 Savannah Music Festival brought in the luminous talents of artists like Dawes, Lucinda Williams, Dianne Reeves, and more. This year’s fest also marked SMF’s ambitious team-up with Savannah VOICE Festival, resulting in a stunning double-bill of operas.”
Connect Savannah, voted “Best Cultural Event” and “Best Festival (that’s not St. Patrick’s Day)


“One of North America’s most distinctive musical events… Savannah is one of those special places whose picturesque character, steeped in history, makes it an ideal candidate to play host to a celebratory musical event… The Savannah Music Festival continues to evolve.” Read more…
Toronto Star (CA)

“Classical music is just one facet of a festival where you can hear chamber music during the day and bluegrass at night, but it hardly takes second fiddle. 4 out of 5 stars. Read more…
Financial Times (UK)

“Georgia’s most delightful music festival…. How did a city of 150,000 (360,000 in the metro area) create a music festival that rivals Spoleto in Charleston? How did Savannah slip past Atlanta and claim this prize? A visit to Savannah for the first three days of the festival offered a few clues: relentless hospitality, choice and courage.” Read more…
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“For 17 days, Savannah Music Festival is an omnivore’s delight, what Thelonious Monk might call four-in-one. SMF isn’t merely a classical music festival, a folk and Americana festival or a jazz and blues festival – it’s all of these.” Read more…

“The Savannah Music Festival is welcoming and eclectic… Adventurous music lovers willing to explore all three genres [classical, jazz and Americana] – plus a wide-ranging world music lineup – enjoy the extra dividend of getting acquainted with the festival’s ten performance venues, including two churches and a synagogue.” Read more…
Classical Voice of North America

“The festival celebrates its 25th year with robust classical chamber music, jazz, Americana and international music offerings, and a remarkable lineup of musicians from around the world. Its education and outreach initiatives, which include residencies, in-school programs, a high school band competition and an acoustic music seminar, are more vibrant than ever.” Read more…
Charleston Post & Courier

“But now, while an endless winter keeps its grip on the Northeast, there may be no better reason to visit the gracious city where spring is in full bloom, than the Savannah Music Festival. It is one of the country’s best and most wide-ranging–classical, bluegrass, rock, jazz, folk and world music–and it is in full, fabulous swing. Programs showcase the world’s best performers, some making American debuts, at intimate venues throughout the city’s historic district. You won’t feel closer to the music-making than in Savannah.”
Travel + Leisure

“It’s been thrilling to watch the evolution of the Savannah Music Festival over the years… Many regular festival supporters and attendees have learned simply to trust the programming. Some of the best shows I’ve seen over the years have been by performers of whom I’d never even heard.”
Savannah Morning News, Bill Dawers’ Unplugged

“Interview with Mike Marshall, Acoustic Music Seminar Director: The finest festival I’ve played, hands down. Just because it plays to all of my musical interests so well, and it represents my philosophy about music. Rob Gibson and I are really aligned on that front, that there’s just music. It’s one thing. You can have a string quartet playing Mozart one night, a blues band the next, and a Brazilian band the next. I think what it does is it elevates all of the art forms, and reminds people that there is greatness in all of them.”
Connect Savannah


“This first rich taste of Savannah has left me craving more.” Read more…
Wall Street Journal

“Breaking the sound barriers.”
Chicago Tribune

“A splendid way to experience the spirit and soul of the city… innovative, creative collaborations that honor area roots while drawing top international performers.”
Charlotte Observer

“A ’boutique festival’ that combines high-end chamber music, jazz and world music, and at the same time shows off music of the American South.”
Charleston Post & Courier

“The Savannah Music Festival has made life better for thousands throughout the region… this year’s audiences are reflecting more than ever Savannah’s rich demographics.”
Bill Dawers, Savannah Unplugged

“A showcase of music for every stripe.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


“Savannah hosts one of the top music festivals in the world, a gathering known for innovative, creative collaborations which honor Georgia roots while drawing top international performers from classical, jazz, bluegrass, Americana and other traditions to the stages of Savannah.”
USA Today

“The festival seems to broaden its musical reach every year. If your tastes run to jazz and blues, traditional Indian music, bluegrass, Baroque, cabaret, flamenco or funk, you could be satisfied in Savannah.” Read & listen…
NPR Music

“Probably the most creatively eclectic musical smorgasbord to be found north of Tierra del Fuego… music could hardly ask for a better home.” Read more…
Toronto Star

“Georgia’s Savannah Music Festival is a wonderful example of the kind of event that can be created when musical borders are blurred and exceptional musicians of all kinds come together to make great music.”

“Savannah’s hallmark is its cultural diversity, and on any given day our programs range from, say, the Baroque to Brahms to Edgar Meyer, from Fauré to Portuguese Fado, from Béla Fleck to Chris Thile. It’s a celebration of music in all its many forms.”
-Daniel Hope in The Wall Street Journal

“No matter what type of music you like, the Savannah Music Festival has it all. Soul, salsa, jazz and classical are just a few of the genres offered during the festival, which swings through three weekends.”
Fox News

“The Savannah Music Festival is surely the most musically diverse event of its scale in the U.S… In the end, maybe all this diversity, and the Savannah springtime, makes for fresher ears.”
Musical America

“One of the biggest cross-genre music fetes in the country.”
Departures Magazine

“This familiarity–a tight-knit, communal nature that pervades the concerts–made the festival’s two Friday-night shows something more than mere performances.”
Down Beat

“The festival is unique in that it captures the range of music around the world, with most genres represented.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“This festival runs the gamut of genres, from country to rock to classical, gospel, zydeco – pretty much everything.”
Austin American Statesmen

From “An artistic success and a public relations dream” by Bill Dawers:
“We already know the SMF is attracting a growing number of cultural tourists, who likely spend more and stay longer than many of our other visitors. Put all the great publicity on top of that. It all adds up to a heck of a festival. And that’s without even considering the individual enrichment the SMF offers each year to those who attend.”
Savannah Morning News

“The 2012 Savannah Music Festival is bigger than ever.”
Charleston City Paper

Picked at one of Songlines Magazine’s (UK) Top 25 International Festivals for 2012.

“The 17-day Savannah Music Festival, running from March 22 through April 7, is Georgia’s largest musical arts event and attracts visitors from the United States and around the world.”
NY1 Travel


“A mix of stunning virtuosity and sheer enthusiasm.”
BBC Music Magazine (UK)

“As an icon of the Deep South, Savannah, Georgia seems an unlikely setting for one of the best world music festivals in the country…. each spring the city transforms itself into a global crossroads of music for the Savannah Music Festival where delta bluesmen, West African griots, Honky Tonk crooners, Cuban rumberos, zydeco accordion masters and Indian sarod virtuosos all cross paths.”
Afropop Worldwide

“My favorite thing about the Savannah Music Festival is how every year I’m turned on to an artist I’d never heard of before, one who simply blows my socks off and converts me into a major ‘I’m so going to download their music as soon as I get home’ fan for life.”
Connect Savannah

“SMF is one of the best music festivals in the country, certainly in the Southeast. Just like Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Charleston Post & Courier

The Savannah Music Festival just got a whole lot bigger.”
Paste Magazine

“The city of Savannah, Ga. conjures up images of the sleepy Old South — sultry summer nights and Spanish moss dripping like lace from the live oak trees. But a few months before summer hits Savannah each year, you’ll find little that’s sleepy at all, as the entire city comes alive in music. Late in March, the Savannah Music Festival unpacks an extraordinarily broad range of musicians, spreading them over a two-week period in 15 different venues throughout the city’s historic district. The 9-year-old festival prides itself on variety, offering a virtual melting pot of musicians to suite almost everyone’s taste.”
NPR Music

“Savannah is probably the only festival that offers classical music alongside pop, jazz, world music and a myriad other genres… a 17-day lineup featuring everything from piano recitals to Cajun dance parties.”
The Daily

“Since 2003, the Savannah Music Festival has brought together the full spectrum of musical genres. Many shows are one-of-a-kind offering fans unique pairings. On any given day you can hear Beethoven or Baroque, Americana or West African, and the blues.”
Blues Revue

“An all-star galaxy.”


“In Savannah, all kinds of music have a place.” Read more (in French)
Le Monde

“SMF is one of the best music festivals in the country. It’s original, well designed and executed, and it goes a very long way toward keeping the world safe for good, live music.” Read more
Charleston Post & Courier

“I arrive about a week into the proceedings, expecting a colourful apple-pie, foot-tapping mixture of bluegrass and jazz to country and swing; but the range and virtuosity of world-class music, from boogie to Cajun, fado to zydeco – a form of American folk – which I savour over the next few days, comes as something of a surprise… one of the most talked-about music events in the States.” Read more
The Guardian (UK)

“…a music festival of unique character in one of America’s most charmingly atmospheric cities. Savannah, with azaleas bursting into bloom throughout its 18th-century squares and daily temperatures high enough to make a snowbird sing, provides reason enough for an April visit. Add the presence of a virtual encyclopedia of world music and this visitor left town with his appetites expanded and a smile lodged between his ears.” Read more
Toronto Star (Canada)

“…the first priorities have always been the quality of the music and the purity of the sound.” Read more
Savannah Morning News

“Savannah Music Festival gets into full swing… Bars wail until 3 AM in this annual 17-day jamboree.” Read more
News of the World Scotland

“…performances from A-list classical, jazz and pop artists.”
The Globe & Mail (Canada)

“…one of the most vibrant and varied music festivals in North America. It specialises in bringing together artists for one-off, often cross-genre encounters.” Read more
The Arts Desk (UK)

Selected as one of Gramophone Magazine’s “Best Events Worldwide” in March 2010.

American Style Magazine chose Savannah as one of America’s Top 25 Arts destinations, citing the “internationally-renowned Savannah Music Festival” as one of the key cultural forces. Read more

“With its enviable variety of venues, the Savannah Music Festival can woo jazz patrons with an intimate club experience, wow them with an epic concert extravaganza, or even clear away some space and go ballroom. The city’s temperate climate allows this festival to steal a march on its Northern brethren – and open in March before the spring equinox. The big jazz names that swoop down on the port city create a festival within the festival, especially this year…” Read more

“…a packed schedule of performances across the wide spectrum of American music.”

“…a wide-ranging pot-pourri of some of the best musicians in the world.”
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

“…a dynamic, comprehensive amalgamation of all types of music, will provide about as much ear candy as one can stand.”
Charleston Post & Courier

“…in a single evening you can catch wildly different styles of music and over a couple of nights experience a head-spinning variety of sounds.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“…the quaint, mossy town of Savannah welcomes classical, bluegrass, blues, gospel and jazz savants to the Savannah Music Festival… This bumps Savannah even higher on my travel wish list.”
Condé Nast Traveler

“The SMF is all about exploring America’s multifaceted musical mojo and integrating it into a global framework. The city’s famed fountain squares, cobblestone streets and blazing azaleas are a beguiling bonus.”
Songlines (UK)

“An impressive, 90-plus line-up which includes Wilco, She & Him, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Ruthie Foster and Chris Thile, to name but a few. Now in its eighth year, the Savannah Music Festival has received international acclaim for its eclectic mixture of genres in a rather unexpected location.”
Paste Magazine

“…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.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“You may know that Savannah has the best St. Patrick celebration amid a riot of springtime blossoms, but did you know they’ve added one of the best music fests, too? The two-week Savannah Music Festival in late March entertains with more than 100 concerts, ranging from gospel to country, chorale to Celtic, chamber to zydeco in 22 different venues around town.”
Southern Living


“The Georgian city is one of southern America’s finest, and the festival features a staggering breadth of styles, from string quartets to bluegrass via gospel, fado, cajun, jazz and more.” From “best events around the world in 2009”, London Times (UK)

“This corner of Georgia is never so compelling as during the Savannah Music Festival. In just one day, you can experience classical, jazz and world music — and gain insights into how these utterly different traditions and styles are connected.”
Gramophone (UK)

Savannah Music Festival defines America’s rhythm:
“Probably no other festival worldwide is so expressively American and so definitively characterized by the invigorating effects of syncopation… One of the most important music festivals in North America.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

“…music in a breathtakingly wide variety of genres… one of the strongest-ever lineups.”
Toronto Star (Canada)

“With artists of this caliber, Georgia’s largest musical arts festival is certain to become a must-do date on the world’s festival calendar.”
Songlines (UK)

“Showcasing a musical experience of impressive breadth and scope, the event is Georgia’s largest musical arts festival and has rightfully earned a reputation as a unique cross-genre offering… Whatever you do, don’t miss it.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Going to the Savannah Music Festival just for its high-quality classical music would be missing the point.”
American Record Guide

“Savannah is making a name as the place to be for live music in the spring.”
Raleigh News & Observer

“In its seventh year, the Savannah Music Festival continues to sharpen its personality, intent on quality, diversity, education and cross-pollination. SMF 2009 enticingly covered jazz, classical, folk and blues over a leisurely span of 18 days.”

“For a high-level performing arts fix, look no farther.”
St. Petersburg Times

“The festival presents chamber music and jazz on the same platform as bluegrass and zydeco. And the bringing together of these musical traditions reflects the embracing spirit of the host city, which continues to celebrate her diverse cultural heritage.”
Atlanta Magazine

“Spring begins with sweet Southern sounds coming from the annual SMF. Musicians from around the globe showcase musical arts with new and veteran artists performing diverse musical traditions.”
AAA Go Magazine

“…the nearly three-week-long showcase of traditional, roots and fine art music has presented a fairly staggering lineup of world-class (if not also world-famous) musicians from both here and abroad. The overwhelming majority of the featured acts are artists that quite simply put would never otherwise appear within four or five hours of here.

It’s an embarrassment of riches with no compelling reason for existing, save for the belief by some local lovers of culture that a large scale event of this type adds great value to the quality of life for Savannahians, and the belief by some powerful players in city government that it serves as a powerful tool in promoting tourism. And promote tourism it does.”
Connect Savannah

“The Savannah Music Festival brings so much energy to the city’s cultural scene that it feels like it will never end. The SMF has certainly tapped a rich cultural vein in Savannah. … a huge success, with strong ticket sales for just about every show.”
Savannah Morning News


“…programming of staggering breadth. What other festival allows you to start the evening with a string quartet and finish it by listening to bluegrass over a beer? Those who rarely venture outside the classical music ghetto might be wary of so much jazz, country, gospel and world music. But in truth, the diverse modes of musical expression – jazz, country, gospel and world music – co-exist with utter equanimity in this beguiling port city.”
Financial Times (UK)

“Last month, I spent a mere three days at this year’s 17-day festival and managed, nevertheless, to take in an ear-opening world music concert pairing Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura with Benin’s Angelique Kidjo, sit in on a unique cross-cultural vocal competition titled American Traditions, be impressed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano’s baton, make the acquaintance of a remarkable flamenco singer, Pitingo, brought all the way from Spain just to perform in Savannah, and hear one of the most stimulating chamber music concerts of the season as part of a series curated by Daniel Hope
of the Beaux Arts Trio… Walking to festival events through Savannah’s still surviving 18th-century squares, beneath venerable live oaks and past azalea bushes bursting into colour is like stepping back into a more gracious age. And yet, the festival itself is as much about today’s artists as yesterday’s heritage.”
Toronto Star

On the Stewart Copeland premiere of ‘Celeste’: “…on the edge of several musical worlds…[Daniel Hope’s] collaboration with Mr. Copeland reflects the spirit of the more than two-week event, with an eclectic lineup of jazz, fado, gospel, blues and performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Emerson String Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio… [Hope and Copeland] were clearly having a blast, and the audience shared in the fun, giving the enthusiastic performance the night’s loudest ovation.”
The New York Times

“A full spectrum of sounds, from country to classical.”
Chicago Tribune

“Anyone with a love of music will find something to listen to, from Fado (sometimes described as soulful Portuguese folk music) to Cuban/salsa bands to sacred harp singing.”

“The Savannah Music Festival, perhaps more than any classical music institution around, has made the link between the arts and tourism… Savannahians seem content, and the growing breadth of the festival is surely one reason why. Social lives can be organized around it; there’s a lot to see for a few weeks. And the festival team is armed with many studies to show how much money the festival generates for the local economy.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Tune up your ears with a visit to the annual Savannah Music Festival, more than two weeks of sounds ranging from country to classical and a perfect starting point for celebrating the start of spring along the coast of Georgia.”
Associated Press

“…a rite of spring on the South Atlantic Coast. While many festivals offer a variety of music, Savannah excels at programming through the prism of Americana. Musical traditions from this country are at the heart of what goes on there.”
Charleston Post & Courier

“…one of the most varied music festivals that the U.S. has to offer.”
Paste Magazine

“It’s a little bit country, a little bit bluegrass, a little bit classical… The wide-ranging Savannah Music Festival pulls disparate genres into a tidy package.”
The Boston Globe

“Music abounds… the partying in Savannah is non-stop.”
CNN Radio

“Georgia’s largest music festival, this mega-event presents more than 100 concerts over 17 days, all in the historic district of Savannah.”
Los Angeles Times

“…with a strong sense of place, this year’s festival boasts a diverse mix of classical and jazz, blues, country and world music… poised to become a cultural destination after years of neglect.”
St. Petersburg Times

“The 17-day festival combines a diverse array of regional and American musical genres – jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco, country and bluegrass – with an amalgamation of international styles.”
Miami Herald (International Edition)

“Whatever your taste–jazz, blues, country or classical– this music festival (the largest in the state) has something for you.”
AirTran Go!

“There is a place where music festivals and families meet quite nicely, along with history, Southern charm and lovely spring temperatures… The Savannah Music Festival has become one of the largest cultural tourism draws in the Southeast. In 2007, 45 percent of concertgoers traveled from out of town to enjoy a selection of premieres, one-time-only productions, exclusive U.S. appearances by international artists and a cornucopia of educational opportunities.”
Daily Herald Chicago

“…this has been the most artistically daring and complete Music Festival to date.”
Connect Savannah

“In terms of programming, marketing and direct outreach, the SMF has for years now made one good move after another to diversify the audiences and expand the festival. Clearly, such efforts are paying off.”
Savannah Morning News