It’s almost time for Spring Break and time to make plans to enjoy your time off. In early spring, Savannah’s historic district serves as the backdrop for the extensive concerts, recitals, dance parties, film and dance productions of Georgia’s largest musical arts event. The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is an annual 17-day celebration incorporating a carefully curated schedule of popular, folk, traditional, serious and studied music, all performed by renowned artists from across the globe. Known for its intimate venues, devotion to artistic excellence and high production values, SMF also fosters the creation of new work and artistic collaborations.
Jazz and classical music are again at the forefront of SMF programming, encompassing the majority of fine art at this year’s festival. However, two distinctive dance productions are also part of the 2017 lineup, including Ballet Collective’s What Comes Next and Argentinian dance ensemble Che Malambo. SMF’s critically-acclaimed chamber music series is led for the 14th season by violinist and associate artistic director Daniel Hope, who brings his musical friends and colleagues from across North America and Europe for nearly three weeks of original productions. The return of SMF’s Piano Showdown highlights what Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge,” with Cuban virtuoso Chucho Valdés, Panamanian star Danilo Pérez and SMF Associate Artistic Director Marcus Roberts. This is a small sample, please see complete lineup here.
Pop fare is prevalent in the 2017 SMF lineup, beginning with two nights of The Avett Brothers at the Johnny Mercer Theatre. Roots rock singer-songwriter Jason Isbell makes his second SMF appearance, Nikki Lane and Parker Millsap share a bill, and Richard Thompson is joined on a Lucas Theatre double bill by Sarah Jarosz. Pakistani rock band Sounds of Kolachi plays on an only-in-Savannah co-bill with Hiss Golden Messenger, and the Travelin’ McCourys and Jeff Austin Band team up for a Grateful Ball. On a program called Chicago Blues Meets Gulf Coast Boogie, Lurrie Bell performs alongside Marcia Ball and special guest James Cotton. On closing night Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers are followed by a festival finale with The Wood Brothers. See complete lineup HERE.
At SMF, folk art involves diverse musical traditions and their offshoots, starting with a double bill of two award-winning bluegrass groups: Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and Flatt Lonesome. Opening weekend features a bevy of southwest Louisiana musicians: T’Monde, Pine Leaf Boys, Feufollet, and Joel Savoy & Kelli Jones. Québécois traditional ensembles Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan team up, Canary Island timple player Germán López makes his SMF debut, and Dom Flemons shares a bill with the Foghorn Stringband. Sufi vocal warrior Sanam Marvi performs inspirational music of Pakistan, Masters of Brazilian Music pairs 80-year-old virtuoso Hermeto Pascoal with mandolinist Danilo Brito’s choro quintet, Edgar Meyer & Mike Marshall (Director of SMF’s Acoustic Music Seminar) play a special duo show and Ukrainian “ethno-chaos” band DakhaBrakha return to SMF with an original score for the 1930 Dovzhenko silent film, Earth. See a complete lineup HERE
Tickets: 216 E. Broughton St.
Savannah, GA 31401