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Savannah Music Fest announces extensive international lineup

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Spread throughout intimate venues in Savannah’s historic district, the 2016 Savannah Music Festival (SMF) lineup covers folk, traditional, popular, serious and studied music by renowned artists from across the globe. The 2016 festival takes place from March 24 through April 9, including concerts, recitals, film and theatrical performances.

“Mixed alongside bluegrass, blues, country, Cajun, Zydeco, New Orleans music or the ever-evolving blend of Americana styles, the abundance of amazing talent in SMF’s 2016 season is unparalleled in our organization’s history.” explains Executive & Artistic Director Rob Gibson.

In 2016, African music is represented by Malian superstar Rokia Traoré, kora master Ballaké Sissoko, and elder statesman Kassé Mady Diabate (who appears on a bill premiering Robert Sadin’s “Night Songs”). Acclaimed Zimbabwean afro pop band Mokoomba will share the stage with Rhiannon Giddens.

Irish super group The Gloaming makes their SMF debut, followed by a lunchtime concert with Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill. Flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo brings his ensemble to the Trustees Theater, and Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles leads a Caribbean Dance Party with his group Creole Soul.

Next year’s closing night party will be a Balkan Brass Band Blowout, with Romania’s Fanfare Ciocarlia and the Serbian Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra.    

Classical music programs at the 2016 festival cover the history of the genre, from the Renaissance to the modern day and the variety of performers expected for next year will take audiences on a musical journey through the various time periods.

Jazz at SMF is an assembly of unique double bills and rare regional appearances by artists, mostly contained in the intimate wood and brick surrounds of the Charles H. Morris Center. Kicking off the schedule is the world premiere of He Said, She Said featuring Freddy Cole and René Marie. That production is followed by a three-day run of Swing that Music: a double bill including Catherine Russell and vaudevillian acoustic swing ensemble The Hot Sardines. Solo lunchtime jazz concerts include pianists Aaron Diehl and Harold Mabern, and guitarist Matt Munisteri.

The Savannah Music Festival, established in 1989 is the largest musical arts event in Georgia. The annual 17-day spring festival brings performers together from around the world for more than 100 concerts and productions. The non-profit organization also sponsors various school programs and generates over $1 million per year in local tax revenues.

For the complete schedule, visit http://www.savannahmusicfestival.org. In early February, a second wave of pop/rock concerts will be added to the SMF 2016 schedule. Tickets to the 2016 festival go on sale November 5, 2015, online at the above website, by phone at 912-525-5050 and at 216 E. Broughton Street in Savannah.

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