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Savannah Music Festival LIVE 730 – Kind of Blue: Miles, Trane & Cannonball 2014

The many victorious performances made by Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderly added timeless examples of small group jazz to a tradition that developed in the wake of the bebop movement of the 1940s. Working together, the three artists achieved a poetic level of expression that was as playful and tender as it was…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 727 – New & Reconstructed String Quintets

The art of musical composition generally consists of the manipulation of harmony, melody, form, rhythm and timbre. In the case of Johannes Brahms, creating such order was often an arduous task, and it was completely common of him to destroy the original version of a work if he thought it was in any way inadequate….

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 729 – Mark Shane

The great tradition of jazz piano in the early 20th century was probably best summarized by the father of stride piano, James P. Johnson, when he was asked which pianists he had learned things from in New York City. He responded by saying, “I loved Eubie Blake, Luckey Roberts, Willie the Lion Smith, and even…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 728 – Ladies Sing the Blues

The blues as such are synonymous with low spirits, blues music is not. With all its so-called blue notes and overtones of sadness, blues music is nothing if not a form of diversion. On this episode, we listen to a 2014 performance at the Charles H. Morris Center entitled “Ladies Sing the Blues,” featuring Catherine…

2015 Director’s Choice

Curating and assembling a 17-day musical arts festival is a gratifying, challenging and lengthy endeavor that results in bringing together more than 500 artists in our hospitable city. While some of the events slated for SMF ’15 were scheduled more than two years ago, others were confirmed only days before our season announcement. Collectively, they…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 726 – Pokey Lafarge

Ardently exploring the origins of American music in jazz, blues, country and western swing, singer and guitarist Pokey Lafarge seems like a throwback, yet the music he plays never sounds old-fashioned. In this episode, we listen to Pokey Lafarge’s final performance of four given at the 2014 Savannah Music Festival.

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 725 – Christian McBride Trio

When your personal goal as a musician is to pull the audience in so that they feel like they’re a part of the ride, then you’re making what Christian McBride calls “people music.” That’s the mantra that McBride has lived by throughout his career, which combined with his abundant virtuosity, has made him the most…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 723 – Late Night Jazz Jam 2014

Legend has it that when Coleman Hawkins squared off against Lester Young in a late night jam in the late 1930s at a Kansas City nightclub, a new saxophone king was crowned who would forever be known as “Prez.” Each year, SMF presents a late night jam to wrap up a week of Swing Central…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 722 – Estrella Morente

The history of flamenco dates back to 1774 when it first began to appear in literature. With roots from Andalusia and the Romani people from Spain, its format usually involves singers, guitarists, dancers and the iconic sound of hand clapping. Most of the artists performing flamenco come from family traditions, including 33-year old cantora Estrella…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 720 – Philip Dukes Salutes Michael Tree

Tuned a perfect fifth above the violin and an octave below the cello, the viola makes a unique and beautiful sound. In the spring of 2014, the esteemed British violist Philip Dukes created the idea for a concert celebrating the 80th birthday of the renowned Michael Tree. The performance featured a selection of works spanning…

Savannah Music Festival 718 – Dvorak Bass Quintet

The string instrument that turns a quartet into a quintet varies with each composer or work. Mozart added a viola, Schubert, a cello, but Antonin Dvorak chose the double bass for his G Major String Quintet, matching the full palette of the symphony orchestra. In this episode of Savannah Music Festival LIVE, we listen to…

Audition Notice

Audition for comprimario roles for the Savannah Voice Festival/Savannah Music Festival joint productions of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Applicants may also be considered for future productions by the Savannah Voice Festival and VOICExperience. Auditions will take place at Christ Church, 28 Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia. Wednesday, October 29, 4:00 – 7:00pm Thursday, October 30,…

Daniel Hope Extends Contract as Associate Artistic Director of Savannah Music Festival Through 2018 Season

  British violinist Daniel Hope has just extended his contract as Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival through the 2018 season. He has served in this post since 2004, and, thanks in no small part to the creative vision he brings to its classical programming, “the festival seems to broaden its musical reach…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 715 – Stringband Spectacular 2014

Every spring, sixteen talented young string players, all under the age of 22, travel to Savannah for a groundbreaking mentorship program called the Acoustic Music Seminar. Led by acclaimed mandolinist Mike Marshall, the participants receive six days of hands-on instruction in playing, songwriting and ensemble work. Past instructors have included Julian Lage, Casey Driessen, Avi…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 714 – Grieg & Vaughan Williams

The use and development of folk music by classical composers in the 19th century often echoed the traditional music of their homelands. The rise of nationalistic elements into works by such notable figures as Chopin, Sibelius and Rimsky Korsakov occasionally relied on folk music from their native lands as inspiration, as did Edvard Grieg with…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 713 – Mozart & Schubert

Every spring for the past eleven years, violinist Daniel Hope has assembled an array of his friends from Europe and the United States to perform in a series of chamber music concerts at the Savannah Music Festival. Playing some of the great masterpieces of the idiom, these musicians rehearse each program across several days in…

Musical Explorers Comes to the Lowcountry

This fall, Savannah Music Festival is proud to launch Musical Explorers, a new, year-round K-2 curriculum in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. As part of Music for Our Schools (sponsored by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.), Musical Explorers builds basic music skills in the classroom and connects to curriculum in reading, social studies and other…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 711 – Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott

In the year 2000, roots music mavens Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott joined forces to create a recording of old-time country covers and originals, which turned quite a few heads. But it took another twelve years for them to record together again, a span when their respective careers grew and blossomed into a myriad of…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 710 – Piano Showdown 2014 – Part Two

One of the annual highlights of the Savannah Music Festival is a concert we produce called “Piano Showdown”. It brings together four jazz pianists and allows them to display their original interpretation of songs in both solo and duo settings, with the only requirement being that every pianist has to play at least two songs…

Q&A with SMF Supporter Wet Willie’s Management Corp.

Emily Dickinson, VP for Wet Willie’s Management Corp. (pictured above right with Joe Ann Brandt and Bill Dickinson) reflects on the organization’s involvement with SMF. When did Wet Willie’s develop an interest in getting involved with SMF? Wet Willie’s decided to get involved with SMF during the 2012 season. As a music buff, our CEO…

SAVANNAH VOICE FESTIVAL AND SAVANNAH MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE MARCH 2015 PUCCINI OPERA

  On opening weekend of the 2015 Savannah Music Festival, the Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) and Savannah Music Festival (SMF) will co-produce a full-scale opera – a first in the SMF’s 26-year history. Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica will be presented on Friday March 20th and Sunday March 22nd 2015 at the Lucas Theatre…

Looking Back with the Outgoing Board Chairman

On June 30, Harold Yellin wrapped up a very successful two-year term as Chairman of the SMF Board of Directors. We checked with Harold on July 1 to seek some reflection on his tenure at the helm of the SMF Board, and here are some of his comments: When and why did you develop an…

25th Anniversary in Review

by Rob Gibson, Executive & Artistic Director As reviews and press clips come in after each festival, we always take pleasure in seeing what new food metaphors are used to describe SMF’s programming. Phrases such as “feast,” “smorgasbord” and “omnivore’s delight” are among the culinary comparisons that critics have employed to describe our event. I’ve…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 709 – Chris Thile & Mike Marshall

For lovers of the mandolin, an instrument that first came about nearly 400 years ago, it’s hard not to appreciate the many virtuosos that have emerged in the past half century and blended extensive musical styles. Two of the most unique and extraordinary mandolinists in our time are Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, who have…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 708 – Piano Showdown 2014 – Part One

Nearly every year since 2004, the Savannah Music Festival has lined up four different jazz pianists in a concert that showcases not only their individual talent, but also their ability to perform duets with each of the other pianists on the bill. This episode features highlights from Piano Showdown 2014 with Christian Sands, Aaron Diehl,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 707 – Quartets by Beethoven & Brahms

Johannes Brahms spent many years attempting to write string quartets. Working under the shadow of Beethoven was too challenging for the young composer and it believed that he discarded as many as twenty quartets before finally publishing his first two in 1873. In this episode, we listen to the acclaimed Jerusalem Quartet perform Brahms String…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 706 – Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

Though they’ve played as a duo since they first met, trying impromptu duets at picking parties, doing a few tunes at benefits and playing occasional radio shows together, that was long before they got married and took the show on the road. With the birth of their little boy in the summer of summer of…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 705 – Aaron Diehl Quartet plays music of Modern Jazz Quartet

When pianist and composer John Lewis formed the Modern Jazz Quartet in the early 1950s, he established an almost classical sounding chamber music ensemble by devising an approach that evenly distributed improvisation inside of compositions distinctly arranged for piano, vibraphone, bass and drums. In this episode, we listen to pianist Aaron Diehl playing the music…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 704 – A Day in the Life of Chris Thile

Finish the gig around midnight, meet and greet folks after the show, give a quick lesson to some young fans, then hop on the bus and drive to the next city, in search of a few hours of shuteye on the road. Check into the hotel at 4 a.m., grab a bit more sleep before…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 703 – Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge

When guitarists Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge formed a collaborative effort using early 20th century Martin Guitars to explore the worlds of improvisation and composition, no one should have been surprised. With Lage’s background in jazz and improvised musical styles, and Eldridge’s relationship with bluegrass and his membership in the acclaimed band Punch Brothers, the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 702 – Walter Blanding’s Tick Tock

Many of the most notable achievements in jazz have come through its great composers. Giants such as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and many others always kept the music moving forward through the creation and performance of new compositions. In this episode, we listen to the premiere of new…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 701 – Cécile McLorin Salvant

People who love jazz singing seem to always be hoping to discover the next Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald. Until very recently, the only contemporary jazz singer who came close to matching these three giants is the extraordinary Dianne Reeves, that is, until the emergence of Cécile McLorin Salvant. At age 24, this…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 652 – Daniel Hope & Friends 2014 – Part One

Since 2004, violinist Daniel Hope has served as the Associate Artistic Director for the Savannah Music Festival, where he programs an assortment of chamber music across 17 days. Part of his vision for the festival was to bring together his European colleagues with some of his favorite American musicians, something he believes doesn’t happen nearly…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 651 – Brahms Masterpieces 2014

Though he is often grouped with Bach and Beethoven as one of the three “B’s” of German musical composers, Johannes Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene. During his lifetime, Brahms’ popularity and influence were considerable, and he created some of the great…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 650 – The Given Note

In 2014, SMF hosted the US premiere of a piece that we co-commissioned by composer David Bruce. Entitled “The Given Note” (after a poem by Irish poet Seamus Haney), this Savannah performance of the piece featured Daniel Hope on violin, Julian Lage on guitar, Rodney Jordan on bass, Mike Block on cello and Jose Franch…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE – 2014 WQXR Special feat. Daniel Hope

In anticipation of SMF’s 25th Anniversary Season, we produced a special radio program featuring Associate Artistic Director Daniel Hope as host. The episode includes highlights from past years of SMF chamber music, with artists such as Daniel Hope, Sebastian Knauer, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore & Kristian Bezuidenhout, the Ebene Quartet, the Emerson String…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 649 – Sebastian Knauer 2014

In the ten festivals since 2005, one of our favorite and regularly featured artists has been pianist Sebastian Knauer, who plays in our chamber music series curated by his friend and colleague Daniel Hope. In this episode we listen to Mr. Knauer’s opening day recital at Savannah Music Festival 2014, recorded live at the Trinity…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 648 – KLR Trio and Miami String Quartet

If you ever wondered when the last time a work was written for a piano trio and a string quartet together, well, it’s only happened once. In 2009, composer Ellen Taffe Zwilich wrote a work entitled “Septet” especially for the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and the Miami String Quartet, two groups with strong personalities. Tune in to…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 647 – Robert Sadin: Messina

Composer, arranger and conductor Robert Sadin has produced some of the most interesting recordings of the past decade. Working with a diverse array of musicians including Sting, Herbie Hancock, Kathleen Battle, Stevie Wonder, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, his musical palette often sounds ancient but is always modern. In this episode, we listen to a…

Director’s Choice 2014

For many people, the term “music festival” implies a large, outdoor gathering held over the course of a few days featuring numerous bands on multiple stages. Though there are several such festivals that I regularly visit (WOMAD and Festival International are two favorites), attending outdoor concerts is a very different experience, demanding important decisions related to…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 627 – Steep Canyon Rangers

Original air date: week of November 24, 2013 For many people, college is a place to study subjects that will prepare you for the next step in life, as well as a time to create new friendships. Such was the case for Woody Platt, Mike Guggino, Graham Sharp and Charles Humphrey, who began playing music…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 626 – Della Mae

Original air date: November 17, 2014 In the musical movement known as roots revivalism, there are musicians indebted to and enamored of their form and its forebears, who occasionally succumb to simple imitation. Other times, there are artists fearful of being mere imitators, who sometimes produce forced and gimmicky musical hybrids. And then there are…

Savannah Music Festival Announces 2014 Lineup

SAVANNAH, GA – The 25th Anniversary Season of the Savannah Music Festival (SMF) features an international roster of artists, replete with one-time only productions, new collaborations and commissioned works that celebrate the organization’s commitment to artistic excellence across the entire spectrum of the musical arts. “Whether it’s a 400-year old masterpiece or the premiere of…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 620 – Julian Lage

The general definition of a prodigy is “a child with a skill set or an ability that is incredibly accomplished, far beyond their years.” Often times, such individuals are found in more quantitative fields, such as chess, music and math. One such prodigy is Julian Lage, who was born in 1987 and acclaimed as a…

Jeremy Denk receives 2013 MacArthur Genius Award

This year’s 24 recipients of MacArthur Foundation “genius grants” include Jeremy Denk, who played the Lucas Theatre stage during the 2013 Savannah Music Festival (pictured above). > Click here to listen to the recording of Jeremy Denk’s performance on SMF LIVE Denk has steadily built a reputation as an unusual and compelling artist, with a…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 617 – Jeb Patton Solo

When you study jazz under Sir Roland Hanna and Jimmy Heath, earn your Master of Arts degree Summa Cum Laude from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and receive the Louis Armstrong Award for Composition from the ASCAP Foundation all while in your young twenties, the serious of your intent is not…

Project 440 starts today!

SAVANNAH MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESENTS CLASSICAL MUSIC RESIDENCY WITH PROJECT 440 IN LOCAL SCHOOLS AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 16TH SAVANNAH, GA – From September 16th through 20th, Savannah Music Festival (SMF) presents Project 440’s original musical interpretation of The Fish Who Could Wish for students grades K-4. Musicians from Project 440 present a 50-minute performance to ten different groups of local…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 616 – Mike Marshall & Darol Anger

More than 25 years ago, two of the most original string players in the community of American vernacular instrumental music joined forces, setting in motion a partnership that continues today. Beginning as members of the David Grisman Quintet while in their young twenties, they have continued to stretch their musical boundaries through recordings, performances and…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 615 – David Grisman Folk-Jazz Trio

Though his artistic pursuits are difficult to categorize stylistically, there is no doubt that mandolinist, composer, producer, educator and historian David Grisman has an insatiable appetite for music. Hist idiosyncratic artistic journey has been one of elaboration and refinement, so when he formed a trio in 2011 to explore the common musical roots of folk,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 613 – Marcus Roberts Solo 2013

When you survey the history of the piano in 20th century American music, there are several individuals, composers and standards, particularly within jazz and popular songs. Performing a recital that traverses these figures and movements, while ensuring that your renditions remain original, is quite a challenge. In the spring of 2013, pianist Marcus Roberts played…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 612 – Jerry Douglas Solo

Jerry Douglas has received thirteen Grammy Awards, won the Country Music Association’s “Musician of the Year” award three times, been awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 by the Americana Music Association. He is the most famous and arguably the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 611 – Richard Goode Early & Late – Part Two

Though pianist Richard Goode’s repertoire ranges from the 18th to the 20th centuries, it is the Classical period, and specifically Beethoven, with whom he is inescapably identified. It was Mr. Goode’s recordings of the Beethoven sonatas in the early 1990s that created his international reputation. In this episode, we listen to the second half of…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 609 – Late Night Jazz Jam 2013

In its most simple definition, a jam session is a musical event where musicians play by improvising without extensive preparation. Jazz jam sessions are an old tradition that allow players to test their skills in front of an audience, usually playing well known standards yet ones that require a common vocabulary. In this episode, we…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 608 – Bach Meets Mozart 2013

Mozart’s lifelong admiration for Johann Christian Bach, the son of Johann Sebastian Bach, began during the family’s first trip to London when Mozart was only eight years old. The young prodigy was then in the midst of a concert tour of Europe, and when he met Johann Christian, he sat in his lap and they…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 607 – Mozart 1787

The year 1787 was a bountiful one for Mozart. While his major project during that year was his opera, Don Giovanni, Mozart completed several more works. These included a rondo for piano, two string quintets, an orchestral work, his serenade for strings known as “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” a sonata for violin and keyboard, a sonata…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 606 – Martin Taylor

The late Chet Atkins called Martin Taylor “one of the greatest and most impressive guitar players in the world.” Pat Metheny stated that Mr. Taylor “is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument.” Although completely self-taught, guitarist and composer Martin Taylor continues to enjoy a remarkable musical career…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 605 – Jeremy Denk

At this point in his career, 42-year-old pianist Jeremy Denk is nearly as well-known in music circles for his writings about music as he is for his piano playing. His blog, entitled “Think Denk: the Glamorous Life of a Concert Pianist,” chronicles the hilarious and frustrating minutia of the tedious, not-so-glamorous concert life. It has…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 604 – Richard Goode, Early & Late

Pianist Richard Goode has been described as a non-specialist, in the sense that he’s a virtuoso soloist, a compelling recitalist, a committed chamber music performer and a sensitive accompanist, all in one. In this episode we listen to a 2013 Savannah Music Festival appearance by Mr. Goode entitled “Early and Late,” and featuring works Haydn,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 603 – Miami String Quartet

Some historians believe that the origins of the string quartet can be traced back to the Baroque trio sonata, in which two solo instruments performed with a continuo section consisting of a bass instrument and a keyboard. Others suggest that the widespread practice of playing works written for string orchestra with just four players, covering…

Acoustic Music Seminar

“I’m a better and more inspired musician after the Acoustic Music Seminar.” -Matt Witler, 22, (pictured above with David Grisman), La Crescenta, CA “A life-changing experience!” -Tatiana Hargreaves, 17, Corvallis, OR The 2013 festival saw the return of the Acoustic Music Seminar (AMS), our groundbreaking mentorship program for young string players. Sixteen students from around…

the world is much closer

by Rob Gibson, Executive & Artistic Director As we prepare to celebrate our organization’s 25th anniversary this coming season, our staff has been gathering photos, recordings, videos and publications from the years since the 1990 debut of our festival in an effort to showcase some of the highlights and history. The growth of our organization…

Project 440 returns to savannah

We are kicking off our 25th anniversary season with a very special residency in local schools – Project 440, an organization dedicated to inspiring and educating young people through classical music, is returning to Savannah as part of SMF’s Music for Our Schools 2013-14 season. Musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Harlem String Quartet, the Curtis…

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…

Looking back at the 2013 Festival

The 2013 Savannah Music Festival was a tremendous success, thanks to enthusiastic participation by our patrons, artists, volunteers, community partners and educators, an increase in out-of-town visitors and unprecedented national/international critical acclaim. Heralded by the Chicago Tribune as an event that is “breaking the sound barriers,” SMF continues to be recognized by music lovers throughout…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 601 – David Finckel & Wu Han 2013

As Musical America‘s 2012 “Musicians of the Year,” cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most respected and influential classical musicians in the world today. Their repertoire as a duo spans virtually the entire literature for cello and piano. However is is the combination of talent, energy, imagination and dedication that they…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 555 – Ruthie Foster 2012

As a singer whose live performances are a musical patchwork of contemporary Americana styles, Texas born Ruthie Foster is a unique artist in our time. She has created a repertoire that is seamlessly evocative of the life she lives, which comes out of the Baptist Church and the soul of southern Texas. Tune in to…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 554 – As Beethoven Went Deaf

By 1801 at the age of 30, Beethoven had been experiencing ringing in his ears for three years, and was well on his way to deafness. By 1815, Beethoven’s condition had become “intolerable” and with the addition of other problems, he could no longer perform in public (though he continued to compose). The final eleven…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 547 – Schumann & Brahms

The Romantic Period contains numerous chamber music masterworks by both Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Though he was born 23 years after Schumann, Brahms began to compose early in his life, and it was through the violinist Joseph Joachim that he was introduced to Schumann. In this episode, we listen to Daniel Hope & Friends…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 543 – Russian Masterworks, Part Two

The strongest unified movement toward Russian nationalistic expression in 19th century concert music occurred during the 1860s with the formation of a group of composers dubbed “the five” or “the mighty handful.” They included Mily Balakirev, Alexander Borodin, Cesar Cui, Modest Mussorgsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It was the beginning of a nationalistic sound that would…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 542 – Daniel Hope’s AIR

The Baroque is a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance and grandeur in sculpting, painting, architecture, literature, dance and music. The Baroque style began around 1600 in Rome and spread to most of Europe over approximately the next 150 years. Tune in to…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 541 – Two Russian Sonatas

Though Russia got a late start in developing its native tradition of classical music, by the late 19th and early 20th century, the country was well into its third generation of classical composers. Two of the giants from this period were pianists/composers whose first name was Sergei, however their musical conceptions were completely different from…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 539 – Russian String Masterworks

The history of Russian music over the past 125 years has been every bit as tempestuous as its political leadership. As nationalist music began to envelope Europe toward the end of the 1800s, Russian composers were creating some of the most beautiful and powerful music of this period. Tune in to hear performances of Tchaikovksy’s…

Roger Day’s “Marsh Mud Madness” available on DVD

Roger Day, one of the nation’s top touring family music artists, released a new music and educational DVD, Marsh Mud Madness, on May 21, 2013. Produced by the Savannah Music Festival and Roger Day, with support from the Georgia Sea Grant and the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation, the video features engaging information about the plants…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 537 – Paco de Lucia – Part Two

When flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia brought his group for their Savannah debut in 2012, he showed why he is the most renowned flamenco guitarist playing today. With great singers, dancers and virtuoso instrumentalists, the ensemble lit up the stage for nearly two hours, bringing the sold-out crowd to their feet numerous times throughout the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 536 – Paco de Lucia – Part One

His real name is Francisco Gustavo Sanchez Gomez and he was born in 1947 in Algeciras, a city in the province of Cadiz in Spain. He likes to eat soup and drink wine, but is also internationally renowned as a flamenco guitarist, for which he uses the stage name Paco de Lucia. Tune in for…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 534 – Tony Trischka & Bruce Molsky

Using fearless musical curiosity as a guiding force for more than 35 years, Tony Trischka has become one of the world’s foremost banjo players, inspiring an entire generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. Besides being one of the instrument’s top pickers, he has also long been one of it’s best teachers, working with young musicians…

The 2013 SMF Artists Holiday Playlist

In the spirit of the holidays, we at SMF wanted to share a holiday playlist made up of songs performed by 2013 Savannah Music Festival artists. Load the pop-up player below to stream a range of holiday recordings, including classical organ, jazz vocals, fretless banjo, dobro, jazz piano and guitar and much more!  Artists on…

2013 SMF Posters are here

For our 2013 season, we commissioned illustrator Brian Stauffer to come up with an image that represents our cross-genre programming while also evoking springtime in Savannah. His Savannah Music Festival 2013 poster illustration was recently selected to appear in the New York based Society of llustrators’ annual publication! As a contributing artist to publications including…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 533 – Freddy Cole

While there are certain unmistakeable similarities in the musicianship of the two siblings, the younger brother of Nat King Cole long ago emerged from the awesome shadow cast by his elder brother. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother, and his timing…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 531 – Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

When immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland arrived in the Appalachian region of the United States in the 18th century, they brought with them the musical traditions of their homelands. These traditions were extended, refined and combined into a variety of American roots music styles, including a distinct musical form called bluegrass. In this episode,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 530 – Bruce Molsky

Bruce Molsky was born in the Bronx and fell in love with old-time music as a teenager. He moved to Virginia in the ’70s, learning directly from old masters like Tommy Jarrell, and seeing how music fit into people’s lives there. He has since become one of the world’s most revered fiddle players, and a…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 526 – French Masterpieces

The use of music in a painterly fashion by the French pioneered a direction in the creation of instrumental sound, and this attachment to visual culture has served as one of the inspirations for the unique modern tradition of the French musical language. In this episode, we listen to Daniel Hope & Friends performing the…

Support SMF

Support SMF Savannah Music Festival (SMF) has come a long way since the 1990 edition of Savannah OnStage, largely because of a strong community of supporters and patrons. Through the support of generous public and private funders, SMF is able to present incredible classical, jazz, Americana, and international roots music in Savannah, as well as serve…

Individual Donors

Individual & Foundation Support Savannah Music Festival (SMF) would like to thank the many individuals and foundations that support the festival and our suite of education and community outreach programs. Through the generous underwriting of our donors, the Savannah Music Festival has grown to be one of the southeast’s most anticipated cultural events of the…

New Staff Members

The Savannah Music Festival is pleased to announce the hire of two new staff members.

SAVANNAH MUSIC FESTIVAL HONORED WITH 2012 GOVERNOR’S AWARD FOR THE ARTS & HUMANITIES

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal presented the first annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts & Humanities. The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) was among two organizations and ten individuals that received the 2012 award out of nearly 100 nominations statewide.

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 525 – Piano Showdown 2012 – Part Two

Original air date: week of October 7, 2012 When writing music, most composers see a piano as the best means of trying out ideas as they commit them to paper. In fact, there is more extensive solo repertoire for the piano than for any other instrument. During the 20th century, composers like Messiaen, Debussy and…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 524 – Piano Showdown 2012 – Part One

Original air date: week of September 22, 2012 Even though you can’t pack it in your hand luggage as you might a guitar, fiddle or flute, the piano opens up the entire world of music because it can translate the full range of harmony of orchestral and choral scores. There is no substitute for the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 522 – Cedar Walton

Original air date: week of September 17, 2012 When you’re raised by a mother who is an aspiring concert pianist as well as your piano teacher, and she takes you to hear performances by Nat King Cole, Erroll Garner, Mary Lou Williams, Earl Hines, Hank Jones and Lester Young, you’re not only a lucky guy,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 521 – Takacs Quartet with Menahem Pressler

Original air date: September 9, 2012 Since 1975, the Takacs Quartet has been regarded as one of the great ensembles in chamber music, playing with a unique blend of drama, warmth and humor while bringing fresh insights to the chamber music repertoire. In 2012, the Takacs Quartet made their Savannah debut at our festival and…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 519 – Chopin Special feat. Leif Ove Andsnes and Nikolai Luganksy

Though he lacked the sheer power of many other keyboard artists in his day, Polish-born pianist Frederic Chopin more than compensated with his impeccable virtuoso technique and inspired musicianship. He incorporated the beauties of Italian opera into his piano compositions and performances, making them notable for their clarity of articulation, singing tone and flowing legato….

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 517 – Milos Karadaglic

Coming from a homeland with no real classical guitar tradition and a population of only 600,000, the challenges faced by Milos Karadaglic in climbing the international guitar-playing ladder were daunting. War was happening all around his homeland in Montenegro, but because he came from a musical family and his parents loved music, they encouraged his…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 516 – Bela Fleck & the Flecktones – Part Two

In 1998, when Bela Fleck formed his renowned ensemble the Flecktones, he never dreamed the group would still be performing almost 25 years later. The original creations of these four virtuosic players, fusing a wealth of musical styles using both acoustic and electric instruments, is like no other band. In this episode, we listen to…

Festival Venues

Festival Venues Charles H. Morris Center The Charles H. Morris Center is SMF’s premier club-style venue. Flexible seating accommodates dance parties, concerts and cabaret performances. Craft beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are available. On-site parking is limited. Christ Church Episcopal On the east side of Johnson Square is Christ Church Episcopal, often referred to as…

Donor and Sponsor Benefits

Donor and Sponsor Benefits Savannah Music Festival (SMF), hailed as “…one of the Southeast’s most creative cross-cultural musical events” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), remains steadfast in our commitment to programming world-class live music that entertains, educates, and unites our community, and to providing an unparalleled patron experience.  As a 501(c)3 nonprofit music organization, SMF relies on the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 513 – Preservation Hall Jazz Band with the Del McCoury Band

On paper, it wouldn’t appear that the mixture of a traditional New Orleans jazz group and a classic bluegrass band on the same stage would make for a musical extravaganza. But when the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Del McCoury Band decided to make a recording and follow it up with a national tour,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 515 – Bela Fleck & the Flecktones – Part One

Original air date: week of July 29, 2012 Nearly a quarter of a century ago, banjo master Bela Fleck formed a band that drew on bluegrass, jazz, blues and rock, combining the talents of four unique musicians that play acoustic and electric instruments. They call themselves the Flecktones, and the dexterity they use to make…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 512 – Beethoven Op. 132/Strauss Sextet

Original air date: week of July 8, 2012 Struggling with illness and deafness in the final years of his life, Beethoven rose above them to create some of his most profound works. The emotional weight of his A minor Quartet, Op. 132 is manifest evidence of what French musicologist Joseph de Marliave called “the habitual…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 510 – Edgar Meyer & Mike Marshall

Original air date: week of June 24, 2012 Throughout a lifetime of performing and composing, Edgar Meyer has turned the double bass into a modern virtuoso instrument that is equally at home in classical music and in the American vernacular. Mandolin master Mike Marshall has been blending genres in acoustic music for more than 30…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 509 – Dvorak & Menahem Pressler – Part Two

Original air date: week of June 17, 2012 In this episode, we listen to Antonin Dvorak’s great Piano Quintet, Op. 81, performed at the Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences by Menahem Pressler with Daniel Hope and Benny Kim on violin, Josephine Knight on cello, and Carla Maria Rodrigues on viola. This 2012 Savannah Music…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 507 – Dvorak & Menahem Pressler

Original air date: week of June 3, 2012 This edition of SMF Live features selections from an all-Dvorak program that was part of the Daniel Hope & Friends series at the 2012 Savannah Music Festival. Joining Daniel and his colleagues on this occasion was the great pianist Menahem Pressler of the now retired Beaux Arts…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 506 – The Campbell Brothers

Original air date: week of May 27, 2012 Back in the 1930s, a group of related Pentecostal churches developed an African-American gospel music tradition known as sacred steel. The steel guitar was embraced in worship services in place of the traditional organ. This new instrument was met with great enthusiasm by musicians, many of whom…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 505 – Finckel, Han & Setzer Play Mendelssohn

Original air date: week of May 20, 2012 As arguably the greatest child prodigy the history of western music has ever known, Felix Mendelssohn produced works of extraordinary mastery throughout his entire life. His chamber music works, including the piano trios and cello sonata, continue to be favorites o musicians and audiences everywhere. In this…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 504 – Chris Thile Solo

Original air date: week of May 13, 2012 Every now and then a musician comes along with an artistic conception that is so original, he/she is incapable of sounding like anyone else. Such is the case with all great artists, but at age 30, Chris Thile has become one of the most unique American musicians…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 503 – Schubert Quintet

The only documentation from Franz Schubert’s life concerning his great string string quintet – one of the masterpieces of the chamber music literature – is a letter from 1828 written by the composer just a month before his untimely death at the age of 31. In it, he asked his publisher when he might be…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 502 – Kenny Barron

Philadelphia has been the birthplace of many great jazz musicians, including many masters of jazz. By the late 1920s, players such as Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti had put Phillip on the jazz map, followed later by Stan Getz and a jazz scene in the 1950s that would include the Heath Brothers, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 501 – Simon Crawford-Phillips

Musical recitals offer listeners the opportunity to hear a collection of pieces selected by the performer. Such an occasion might feature the works of either a single composer, or a group of compositions that, when combined, illuminate a central theme or moment in time. During our 2012 festival, pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips gave a recital that…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 455 – Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, 2012

As the concept of a jazz orchestra approaches nearly 90 years of existence, the big bands still around and touring with their own style and identity are few and far between. One group that has persisted in sustaining an international presence, while extending and refining the tradition, continues to be lead by a man that…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 449 – Marcus Roberts Trio with Bela Fleck

The history of the banjo in jazz dates back to the earliest ensembles of the 20th century in New Orleans, when banjo players were occasionally the star of the band. Over the next 100 years, however, the banjo changed within American musical culture, gradually falling out of favor as a primary instrument within a jazz…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 448 – Leif Ove Andsnes

To describe a classical pianist as thoughtful, modest and dedicated to his craft would almost make him/her seem unexciting. Yet those traits aptly describe one of the most commanding and consummate pianists of our time, Norwegian Leif Ove Ansdnes. In February of 2012, Mr. Andsnes played with exhilaration, creativity and elegance during a recital produced…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 444 – Tim O’Brien Band

Old-time American music has always resided comfortably next to classic country, folk and bluegrass. Fans of these styles have always known they can count on a superb blend of them when listening to Tim O’Brien, who has spent the last three decades expanding the possibilities of acoustic music. In 2011, Tim O’Brien brought an all-star…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 440 – The Infamous Stringdusters 2011 – Part One

Original air date: week of January 15, 2012 As the tradition of bluegrass music continues to evolve, the genre’s most creative musicians wield an expansive repertoire of original compositions and arrangements built on virtuosity, showmanship and a deep understanding of other American musical styles. In this episode we listen to part one of a two-day…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 425 – Ike Stubblefield Trio with Wycliffe Gordon & Marcus Printup

The sound of the Hammond B-3 organ with a Leslie speaker evolved in mid-20th century America through a range of musical genres that included blues, rock, gospel, and most notably, jazz. Many of the finest players on the instrument were jazz musicians, and the trail they blazed on the instrument is still being traveled today….

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 432 – Lionel Loueke Ensemble

Original air date: week of November 27, 2011 Tucked between Togo to the west and Nigeria on the east, the West African nation of Benin is one of the smallest on the continent, yet it has produced one of Africa’s finest contemporary musicians. During the Spring of 2011, we premiered a special production featuring guitarist…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 430 – Beethoven Violin Sonatas – Part Two

Original air date: week of November 6, 2011 Though nine of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s ten violin sonatas date between 1797 and 1803, the early years of his maturity, he still managed to leave the genre irrevocably changed. These enduring works have influenced generations of performers and composers, and they remain as profound today as when…

Corporate Sponsors

Corporate & Government Sponsors “We have enjoyed our sponsorship of the SMF and are proud to be a part of such a growing organization that focuses on improving Savannah both locally and globally. The sponsorship allows us to be a part of the organization and improve our community.” Holden T. Hayes, Regional President, South State…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 429 – Downtown Uproar

Original air date: week of October 31, 2011 Duke Ellington is widely regarded as one of the most important composers in the history of music and his orchestra in the mid-1930s was at the beginning of his creative peak, featuring some of the finest soloists in the history of jazz. During the years 1936-1940, a…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 427 – Chico Pinheiro Quintet

Brazilian music has produced many creative composers and a wealth of great guitarists, but rarely do these talents reside within the same individual. One such exception is the brilliant young musician Chico Pinheiro, who was born in Sao Paolo in 1974, and has distinguished himself as a remarkable presence both in and outside the Brazilian…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 424 – Louis Lortie Plays Liszt

The Hungarian-born Franz Liszt was one of the greatest and most charismatic virtuosos in music history. Liszt exerted an almost otherworldly control over his audience due to his technical and interpretive mastery, and it was not uncommon for members of the audience to faint during a Liszt recital. Tune in as we listen to pianist…

Accommodations

Accommodations The Bluff Hotel 630 W. Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401 (912) 629-2001 thebluffhotel.com Southern Hospitality with Modern Sensibilities. Settle into peace, quiet and spacious accommodations. Serving as an extension of our beautiful southern city, The Bluff Hotel Savannah Historic District, reflects the true Savannah experience both modern design and historic significance. Located within walking…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 423 – Bill Charlap Trio w/ Houston Person – Part Two

There have been many outstanding piano trios throughout the history of jazz, each with its own signature sound. There is the majestic swing of the Oscar Peterson Trio, the classy bop of the Hank Jones Trio, the great independence of the Bill Evans Trio, and the powerful virtuosity of Bud Powell’s trios. Each great jazz…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 421 – Benny Kim & Keith Robinson

Original air date: week of August 28, 2011 Though the repertoire of composition for violin and cello is not especially large, there are many colorful and dramatic duos that span the period from the late nineteenth through the first quarter of the 20th century, some of which have become staples of the literature. In this…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 420 – Bill Charlap Trio with Houston Person – Part One

Original air date: week of August 26, 2011 When people talk about jazz piano music, more often than not they are referring to a jazz piano trio, which has generally been jazz pianists’ favorite format. There’s good reasoning behind this notion, too, because the jazz piano trio can represent the essence of jazz in the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 419 – Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain – Part Two

Original air date: week of August 19, 2011 Bassist Edgar Meyer and banjoist Bela Fleck had collaborated for nearly thirty years, but in 2008 when they formed a trio with tabla master Zakir Hussain, they created a small group in which each member offered up original compositions based upon their virtuosity and shared musical ideas….

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 418 – Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer & Zakir Hussain – Part One

Original air date: week of August 14, 2011 When banjoist Bela Fleck, bassist Edgar Meyer and tabla player Zakir Hussain decided to form a trio, they committed to creating a group with rich and varied compositions, virtuosic playing and a plan to grow the ensemble’s sound and repertoire over time. In this episode, we tune…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 417 – James Hunter

Original air date: week of August 7, 2011 Taking vocal cues from Sam Cooke and James Brown and wrapping them in the cozy warmth of rhythm and blues, singer/guitarist James Hunter hails from England but has American soul running through his blood. In this episode, we listen to Hunter’s 2011 SMF performance from the Trustees…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 415 – Daniel Hope & Friends I

Original air date: week of July 24, 2011 In the world of chamber music, there are many masterworks of the idiom – pieces that are continually performed year in and year out at festivals and chamber music series around the world. The piano quintet by Schumann and the D minor trio by Mendelssohn are two…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 414 – Ike Stubblefield Trio

Original air date: week of July 17, 2011 When American engineer Laurens Hammond invented the electric Hammond organ in 1934, he knew he had created an organ that could be sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ. However, by the 1950s and 60s, it had become a standard keyboard instrument…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 413 – Nikolai Lugansky

Original air date: week of July 10, 2011 Players who win piano competitions don’t always become great pianists, but now in his late 30s, Nikolai Lugansky has all the makings of a modern virtuoso. Born in Moscow in April of 1972 to a couple of research scientists, Mr. Lugansky was just five years old when…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 412 – Junior Brown

Original air date: week of July 3, 2011 In this episode, we listen to the complete 2011 performance by Junior Brown at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, where he played an hour-long, non-stop set on his original instrument made up of a 6-string electric and a lap steel guitar. He calls it the “guit-steel”,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 411 – Beethoven Cello Sonatas – Part Two

Original air date: week of June 26, 2011 The five sonatas for cello and piano that Beethoven composed are milestones of the literature. They redefined the possibilities for these two instruments by creating music in which each part had an equally important role, setting a standard for every composer who followed. Tune in for part…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 410 – Beethoven Cello Sonatas

Original air date: week of June 19, 2011 During the 18th century, the cello had gradually become regarded as a solo as well as an accompanying instrument. While neither Mozart nor Haydn composed a cello sonata, Beethoven more than made up for them. Not only did he write five sonatas for the instrument, but he…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 409 – Punch Brothers – Part Two

Original air date: week of June 12, 2011 The forward movement of contemporary American stringband music has always been fueled by a tradition that existed outside the classroom setting. When a young person attempts to pursue an American style such as bluegrass, Cajun, country or blues, the earliest method of learning often begins with imitating…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 408 – Eric Kim

Original air date: week of June 5, 2011 While Beethoven is generally acknowledged as the first great composer of cello sonatas, there have been numerous outstanding works written for the cello as a solo instrument over the last three centuries. Composers such as Boccherini, Grieg, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Shostakovich and Britten all wrote compositions that…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 407 – Ebene Quartet

Original air date: week of May 29, 2011 The string quartets written in the late 19th and early 20th century by Debussy and Ravel both dazzled and disturbed people in their first performances. Debussy’s fantastic, spiraling variations were shocking, but the exotic beauty of his writing excited many (including the young Ravel). Over time, passionate…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 406 – Punch Brothers – Part One

Original air date: week beginning May 23, 2011 The tradition of stringband playing in the United States dates back at least 200 years. In the early 19th century, the fiddle-banjo duo that was essential to the dance music of the day eventually incorporated other instruments such as the guitar, mandolin and double bass. Such an…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 405 – Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal

Original air date: week of May 15, 2011 When people hear the term “chamber music”, more often than not they think of a form of Classical music from the European tradition written for a small number of instruments. In the past 100 years, however, chamber music has grown to include any art music that is…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 404 – Patrick Messina

Original air date: week of May 8, 2011 At an audition to become the principal player on your instrument in a symphony orchestra, technical proficiency is only part of the test. Members of the orchestra weigh whether a candidate plays with strong character, yet can blend and match the ensemble’s style while also being a…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 403 – Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes Piano Duo

Original air date: week of May 1, 2011 The art of playing jazz piano is something that Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes pursued for more than 20 years before they met one another. After these two premiere pianists fell in love and became a couple, they realized that one of the biggest challenges of being…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 402 – Kristian Bezuidenhout on Fortepiano

Original air date: April 24, 2011 In the decade between 1781 and 1791 in Vienna, the preeminent keyboard virtuoso of the day was a young man named Mozart. During the final ten years of his life, Mozart was undeniably the absolute piano star in this music capital, but the keyboard he played was not the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 343 – Cherryholmes

Original air date: week of February 20, 2011 When the family band Cherryholmes burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere during the first few years of the new millennium, they quickly developed a loyal audience, followed by a wealth of honors and awards. On January 12, 2011, after more than a decade together, Cherryholmes…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 342 – Shannon Whitworth

Original air date: week of February 13, 2011 Growing up in the South Carolina low country, Shannon Whitworth was always surrounded by water, before she decided to make her home in the North Carolina mountains. It’s the reason that the themes of water and mountains surface regularly in her songs, alongside the women about whom…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 341 – Del McCoury Band

Original air date: week of February 6, 2011 When you think of American roots music, one of the most distinct styles is bluegrass. Bill Monroe once characterized the genre of music he helped create as: “Scottish bagpipes and old-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 340 – Gerald Clayton Trio

Original air date: week of January 30, 2011 The most common piano trio format in jazz has usually included a pianist, a bassist and a drummer. Communication between these three players is built around the talents they have amassed through extensive training, so that their reflexes are to the point where the music takes over…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 339 – Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

Original air date: week of January 23, 2011 The musical heritage of French West Africa includes a wealth of traditional and popular music styles from a variety of countries including Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin and Mali. The arid, landlocked nation of Mali is a cultural colossus. Its contemporary music serves as a rich and…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 338 – All-Star Swing Summit

Original air date: week of January 16, 2011 Each Spring, twelve of the top high school jazz bands from across the nation travel to Savannah to spend three days studying with a handpicked set of instructors who, individually, are some of the greatest jazz musicians of our time. This episode of the Savannah Music Festival…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 337 – Renaud Garcia-Fons

Original air date: week of January 2, 2011 When double bass player and composer Renaud Garcia-Fons arrived backstage in the van with his custom five-stringed bass, we expected to see yet another huge bass case. Instead, he unloaded a much smaller box from which emerged a wooden body, out of which came the neck, followed…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 336 – Gerald Clayton

Original air date: week of December 26, 2010 At the quarter century mark in age, jazz pianist Gerald Clayton has staked a claim in the music by sticking to his mantra that tradition and innovation can peacefully coexist. But with Gerald at the keyboard, this coexistence is often anything but peaceful. Dodging early pressures to…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 335 – Dick Hyman Trio – Part Two

Original air date: week of December 19, 2010 The development of jazz music during the first half of the twentieth century occurred at an astonishingly rapid pace. The wide array of styles that emerged included the polyphonic improvisation of New Orleans jazz, stride piano, big band swing and bebop. By 1943 Duke Ellington had stopped…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 334 – Dick Hyman Trio – Part One

Original air date: week of December 12, 2010 The term “piano trio” usually refers to to a group comprising a pianist, a double bass player and a drummer. The pianist is generally the leader of these trios, which are usually named after the pianist, such as the Bill Evans Trio or Oscar Peterson Trio. In…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 333 – Bill Frisell Trio

Original air date: week of December 5, 2010 In this episode we listen to a 2010 performance by an American guitarist who has been closely identified to jazz, although he has always taken elements of folk, blues, rock and other styles, and spun them into a wholly original sound. Guitarist Bill Frisell is joined in…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 332 – Wycliffe Gordon & Marcus Printup

Original air date: week of November 21, 2010 The lineage of great jazz musicians in Georgia goes back to the early 20th century when such renowned musicians as Fletcher Henderson came out of Atlanta University, moved to New York city and formed one of the finest big bands of all time. In this episode we…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 331 – 2011 Chamber Music Preview

For chamber music lovers, springtime in Savannah is a veritable feast of music for 17 days. Some of the world’s finest classical musicians gather to rehearse and perform masterworks of the idiom in historic and intimate spaces. Tune in to hear performances by artists returning to the 2011 festival.

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 330 – Preview of SMF 2011 Programs – Part One

Original air date: November 7, 2010 This episode is a sneak preview for GPB listeners of artists returning to Savannah in 2011. Stay tuned for our complete season announcement on November 10th!

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 329 – Fragments & Masterpieces

Original air date: week of October 31, 2010 Whether one is a young student just beginning to write music, or a master at the height of their powers, the art and craft of composing chamber music is always a challenge. In this episode, we listen to three very different, but unique chamber music works: Mahler’s…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 328 – Brahms String Sextet

Original air date: week of October 24, 2010 Of all the major composers of the late Romantic era, Brahms was the one most attached to the classical ideal as manifested in the music of Haydn, Mozart, and especially Beethoven. As a mature composer, Brahms became for conservative music journalists the most potent symbol of musical…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 327 – Schubert’s B-flat Piano Trio

Original air date: week of October 19, 2010 The year 1827 was the last full year of life for Franz Schubert. He had just turned 30 and was terribly ill, yet it was arguably his most prolific year, in which he wrote a wealth of heralded masterpieces. in this episode, we listen to two of…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 326 – German Masterworks

Original air date: week of October 12, 2010 If the musical world of the 19th century can be said to end with Beethoven, it is the opinion of some that it should end with Wagner. Such a description expresses neatly the power that each of the remarkable figures had over the musicians and composers of…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 325 – The One and Only Garrick Ohlsson

Original air date: week of October 3, 2010 Pianist Garrick Ohlsson is an interpreter of great originality, whose playing combines supreme elegance with extraordinary tonal projection. These qualities have placed him among the ranks of the world’s foremost pianists. On this edition of the Savannah Music Festival LIVE, we listen to Mr. Ohlsson playing a…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 324 – Shostakovich

Original air date: week of September 26, 2010 As one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century, Dmitri Shostakovich was a child prodigy as both a pianist and composer. Born in 1906 in St. Petersburg, Russia, he first achieved national fame in the early 20s, but he would eventually have a complex and…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 323 – Ruthie Foster

Original air date: week of September 19, 2010 If you were born in the 1960s, you could grow up just about anywhere in America and be exposed to gospel, jazz, blues, soul, folk and rock music on the radio and television. Such was the case of Ruthie Foster, who was raised in South Texas and…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 322 – Piano Showdown 2010 – Part Two

Original air date: week of September 12, 2010 When new styles of American music began to emerge at the end of the 19th century, the primary instrument at the center of these creations was the piano. Virtuosos such as ragtime stylist Scott Joplin created works like the “Maple Leaf Rag” that would sell over a…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 321 – 20th Century Beauties

Original air date: week of September 5, 2010 The term “20th Century Classical Music” often conjures up the notion of sounds that are not very appealing to classical music purists. However, many 20th century composers never strayed from writing beautiful music that attracted a broad array of people, no matter how sentimental or sappy it…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 320 – Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing! Trio

Original air date: week of August 29, 2010 Violinist Mark O’Connor spent ten days at the 2010 Savannah Music Festival playing in a variety of projects. His Hot Swing! Trio at SMF featured guitarist Julian Lage and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi. Inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli (O’Connor’s mentor), the group played…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 319 – Vienna in the Late 18th Century

Original air date: week of August 22, 2010 In the late 18th century, Vienna was the major musical center in Europe and a city where the great triumvirate of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven made their homes. Beethoven’s first appearance in Vienna as a youthful musician of promise came in the spring of 1787, where he…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 318 – Two 19th Century Sonatas

Original air date: week of August 15, 2010 A sonata in music literally means a piece that is played, as opposed to a cantata, which is a piece that is sung. The sonata has naturally evolved through the history of music, and it took on increasing importance by the early 19th century when it came…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 317 – Dick Hyman Plays Fats Waller

Original air date: week of August 8, 2010 Born in New York City in 1904, Fats Waller played the organ and sang in the choir of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where his father was the minister. By the time he was a teenager, the lure of playing in the theatre and accompanying silent…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 316 – Schubert’s E-flat Piano Trio

Original air date: week of August 2, 2010 While it’s hard to give a satisfactory definition of “genius,” it nearly always happens that artistic genius expresses itself in youth. With the greatest of geniuses there follows an extended period of prodigious activity at the highest level, which seldom sustains its fire throughout a long life….

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 315 – Mark O’Connor’s American Journey

Original air date: week beginning July 25, 2010 In 2010, Mark O’Connor came to the Savannah Music Festival and spent ten days pursuing his American music journey. He taught master classes, played solos and duos, and performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. He played original compositions with the US Army…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 314 – Sarah Jarosz

Original air date: week of July 18, 2010 Few musical communities have proven more nurturing of emerging talent than bluegrass and its acoustic tributaries. In part this is because precocious youth has proved a wise investment, as evidenced by former teenage virtuosos such as Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss and Chris Thile. But mostly this is…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE – 313 – Daniel Hope & Friends

Original air date: week of July 12, 2010 Each year during March and April, violinist Daniel Hope invites some of his favorite colleagues to spend 17 days performing chamber music with him at the Savannah Music Festival, where he serves as Associate Artistic Director. Utilizing a blend of the finest players from around the world,…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 312 – Bill Charlap Trio – Part Three

Original air date: week of July 4, 2010 When pianist Bill Charlap arrived in Savannah with his trio to play three sets of music over the course of one evening, he made it emphatically clear that he had no intention of repeating himself. possessing a profound knowledge of music and the American songbook, he delivered…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 311 – Kathy Mattea

Original air date: week of June 28, 2010 Though her childhood was steeped in the culture of mining and Appalachia, Kathy Mattea wasn’t really exposed to much traditional mountain music. But after the 2006 Sago mining disaster in her home state of West Virginia, she took her collection of mining and mountain songs and embarked…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 310 – Henry Butler Solo

Original air date: week of June 21, 2010 Pianist Henry Butler was born in New Orleans and has developed a sound that Dr. John refers to as the “pride of the Crescent City.” As an extension of the great piano lineage that includes Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair, James Booker and Tuts Washington, Mr. Butler…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 309 – Emerson String Quartet Plays Dvorak – Part Two

Original air date: week of June 14, 2010 During his career, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak wrote 14 string quartets, all between 1862 and 1895. His final two quartets, with their mastery of form, color and expression, are a fitting summation of Dvorak’s exceptional achievement in this genre. During March of 2010, the Emerson Quartet performed…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 308 – Piano Showdown 2010 – Part One

Original air date: week of June 7, 2010 The piano has been an integral part of the jazz idiom since its inception. Due to its combined melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities, it has been the one instrument that allowed the greatest jazz players to use their creativity to address all of these elements of musical…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 307 – Emerson String Quartet Plays Dvorak

Original air date: week of May 31, 2010 In December of 1891, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak accepted the offer of Jeanette Thurber to become the director of the National Academy of Music in New York City. Mrs. Thurber hoped that the conservatory, which she founded in 1885, would foster the development of American concert music….

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 306 – Yefim Bronfman

Original air date: week of May 22, 2010 As one of the most revered pianists in our time, Yefim Bronfman bucks the stereotype of the Russian soloist as merely a technical wizard of large sound and emphatic personality. Though he has technique to burn, he also has a chameleon-like ability to subsume himself in the…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 305 – The Assad Brothers

Original air date: week of May 17, 2010 Ever since their childhood concerts in Brazil and their New York appearances as teenagers in 1969, Sergio and Odair Assad have been touring the world and recording as The Assad Brothers. They have followed a fascinating path of musical development utilizing the traditional repertoire of the guitar…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 304 – Chris Thile, Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg – Part Two

Original air date: Week of May 10, 2010 At the turn of the 20th century when the mandolin became popular in America, a man named Orville Gibson changed its shape and marketability. What had primarily been a fad instrument would soon fall into the hands of players that would forever alter its musical direction. This…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 303 – Chris Thile, Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg

Original Air Date: Week Beginning May 3, 2010 When mandolins began evolving from the lute family in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries, they were designed with a round back or bowl back in what was known as the Neopolitan style. By the end of the 19th century, a new style with a carved…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 302 – Roby Lakatos Ensemble

Original Air Date: Week of April 26, 2010 Hungarian fiddle playing is known the world over for its passion, romance and virtuosity. To most non-Hungarians, the music is synonymous with the campfire, the open road and the Gypsies. But is Hungarian fiddle music actually Gypsy music? Within the country you will find considerable resentment towards…

Savannah Music Festival LIVE 301 – Kahane/Knauer

As the Industrial Revolution progressed in the 19th Century, an educated middle class arose with the means and cultural aspirations to invest in a new form of domestic art: the family piano. Since there were no means to reproduce music automatically, people played. Along with this new instrument came new methods and styles of music,…

Food & Drink

Food & Drink 45 Bistro 123 East Broughton Street 912.234.3111 The owners and staff of 45 bistro welcome you to the historic Marshall House. Our management team has an extensive background in restaurant service with national acclaim for providing the finest in both food quality and professional service.         Café M 128…