The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) announces its most artistically diverse lineup to date for the upcoming 2009 festival, including several commissioned works and a wealth of original productions showcasing a wide variety of American and international musical traditions. Committed to enhancing the cultural landscape of Savannah, SMF programs combine elegance and soul in a way that mirrors the history and culture of the remarkable city. The unique musical arts event is one of the highlights of springtime on the southeastern U.S. coast and a distinctive destination for cultural travelers.
The 2009 festival takes place between March 19 and April 5 in historic downtown Savannah and features more than 100 musical performances in intimate settings. Tickets go on sale at 9 am EST on November 13 and are available online at www.savannahmusicfestival.org or by phone at 912-525-5050.
Original Productions & Other Highlights:
• Long Time Travelin’, a celebration of American folksong traditions: Rayna Gellert of Uncle Earl with Patrick Sauber, old-time balladeer Tim Eriksen, National Heritage Fellow Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Tatnall River Shapenote Singers, and host Jim Lauderdale, an acclaimed Nashville singer-songwriter
• Jazz Now and Forever, a series of jazz greats including Dianne Reeves, Chick Corea & John McLaughlin’s Five Peace Band featuring Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett and Brian Blade, and The Clayton Brothers
• The Gershwin Songbook, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and classical pianist Sebastian Knauer performing the greatest compositions of this masterful American composer
• The Blues was Born Here, an authentic southern blues review showcasing Piedmont blues masters Cephas & Wiggins on a one-time only bill with Georgia’s own Beverly “Guitar” Watkins
• Resplendent Recitals, a series highlighting the world’s finest recitalists including tenor Ian Bostridge, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Marc-Andre Hamelin and Sebastian Knauer
• Big World of Music, leading international artists such as fado star Mariza, Mike Marshall & Darol Anger with Väsen, Bela Fleck’s Africa Project featuring virtuosos Toumani Diabate, Vusi Mahlasela, and D’Gary, and Indian maestros Zakir Hussain & Shivkumar Sharma
• The 16th annual American Traditions Competition, some of the nation’s most talented aspiring vocalists competing for more than $30,000 in prize monies
• The three-night Savannah Jazz Party featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Howard Paul and Ken Peplowski the Ellis Marsalis Quartet and the 2009 Piano Showdown with solos and duos by pianists Eddie Palmieri, Henry Butler, Aaron Goldberg and Bob Seeley
• The Complete Brandenburg Concertos performed by the Academy of Ancient Music with Richard Egarr
• Organ Stops, a six-concert series featuring such internationally acclaimed organists as Janette Fishell
• Everybody Dance Now, a three-concert series of dance parties featuring Eddie Palmieri & La Perfecta II, Zydeco great Cedric Watson, and the rising young Cajun ensemble, Feufollet
• Georgia On My Mind, a four-concert series including Savannah’s own Bobby Lee Rodgers & Friends in a one-time only event, as well as the Marcus Printup Quartet, Caroline Herring, and Sacred Harp Singing with Tim Eriksen
• Swing Central, a three-day high school