You Like Jazz?

Laser Show during the 2016 Festival. Photo by Savannah Jazz Festival Facebook page.

By: Gabriel Williams, Staff Writer

 

Get ready to sit back and enjoy the sound of good ‘ole southern jazz during the 37th Annual Savannah Jazz Festival, this week.

The live festival kicked off this past Sunday at the Mansion on Forsyth Park with a performance from local schools such as Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Arts Academy, Savannah State Jazz Ensemble and Navy Band Southeast performing a showcase of jazz music.

There was also a special performance by our very own Georgia Southern Jazz Ensemble. 

A performance by the Wesleyan Gospel Choir will be at 6 p.m. on Sept 27 at Forsyth Park on the Drayton Street side.

The University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble will be performing at 7 p.m. on Sept 28 at Forsyth Park on the Drayton Street side. They are known as one of the best collegiate jazz ensembles worldwide, according to the university’s website. They have been praised by esteemed music publications such as “Cadence,” “Jazz Times” and “Down Beat.”

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Victor Wainwright (second to the right) with other blues musicians at last year’s festival. Photo by The French Guy Photography.

Other performers for the festival will consist of legendary jazz musicians and ensembles from all over the lowcountry. Among those who are performing are several local singers and musicians from right here in Savannah.

Eric Culberson of the Eric Culberson Band is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter from Savannah who has been featured in many concerts and performances.

The famous saxophonist, Brian Miller, has performed for President Bill Clinton at the White House twice and recorded his original composition “Desmond Street” with the well-known North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble.

Pianist Chuck Leavell has been performing music for more than 40 years. His piano and keyboard work can be heard on various albums from artists you may be familiar with, such as Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones or John Mayer. Leavell has also been the musical director and keyboardist for the Rolling Stones for over two decades.

There will also be many late-night jams played at Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant and at the De Soto Hotel Ballroom.

If you need a lift to any of events, Chatham Area Transit (CAT) will offer a Forsyth Loop DOT shuttle for attendees free of charge.

All events are free and open to the public. So, grab a friend or roommate and enjoy some free jazz music!