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Savannah Music Festival: Full Schedule! 

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Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams

IT'S TIME ONCE AGAIN for the annual Savannah Music Festival--or time to buy tickets to it anyway! Here's the full sked for your browsing and buying enjoyment:

Balsam Range

Kicking off the 2015 festival at the Charles H. Morris Center, Balsam Range arrives fresh off the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards ceremony with more nominations than any other band in bluegrass music. Sheir collective experience is as extensive as it comes, with members having played with Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Ralph Stanley and many others. Bluegrass and acoustic music fans won't want to miss this SMF debut!

3/19/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Balsam Range/The Boxcars

This opening night double bill pairs two present-day powerhouses of bluegrass, whose origins straddle the Tennessee/North Carolina border where the Smokies meet the Blue Ridge Mountains. Both Balsam Range and The Boxcars have made their names playing real, authentic and soulful bluegrass.

3/19/2015, 5:30 & 8:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Chamber Music I : Around Beethoven

Daniel Hope, the Mr. & Mrs. Curtis G. Anderson Associate Artistic Director Chair, brings together some of his favorite musical colleagues from across North America and Europe in Savannah each SMF season. Bookended by two of Franz Schubert's great works (including his renowned cello quintet), this opening concert is centered around Beethovens innovative Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op.1, composed in 1793.

3/19/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $47

The Wood Brothers/AJ Ghent Band

Back for their third SMF performance, The Wood Brothers have since added drummer and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix as a full-time member. Brothers Chris (bass) and Oliver Wood (acoustic/electric guitar) leave it all on stage, performing a high-energy mix that includes elements of blues, jazz, reggae, rock and even gospel. Often referred to by fans as Prince and James Brown's musical love child, AJ Ghent and his singing slide guitar are guaranteed to get audiences moving.

3/19/2015, 7:30 PM, Ships of the Sea North Garden $35

click to enlarge Mavis Staples
  • Mavis Staples

One True Vine: Mavis Staples

A National Heritage Fellowship Award winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement winner, Mavis Staples' rich, raspy vocals and precise phrasing have been central to the definitive mark she has made on American music. In the six decades since her start within the delta-inflected gospel group The Staples Singers, Ms. Staples has continued to cultivate a genuine and inspired take on the combination of gospel, soul and folk music. Her two most recent albums (produced by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy), one of which won a GRAMMY Award, show that Mavis Staples is at the top of her game. Don't miss this opening weekend concert featuring one of the greats of gospel, soul and R&B! 3/19/2015, 8:00 PM, Trustees Theater $25, 35, 45, 55

The Boxcars

3/20/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Zydeco Dance Party: Buckwheat Zydeco

As the leading torchbearer of the classic sound of the late King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco has performed for over three decades. After spending two years as organist in Cheniers Red Hot Louisiana Band in the late 70s, Buckwheat took up the accordion, and within a year, he started his own band. He then became the first zydeco artist signed to a major label, and went on to play with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder and Willie Nelson, among others. On a mission to bring the unique sound of zydeco into the musical mainstream, Buckwheat Zydeco combines traditional Creole tunes with blues and R&B in one of the best bands in America a downhome, high-powered celebration, says The New York Times.

3/20/2015, 7:00 & 9:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Southern Troubadors: Joe Ely, Ruthie Foster and Paul Thorn

Three distinctly different artists share the stage for an evening of song swapping. Joe Ely, a founding member of The Flatlanders (who played at the Lucas Theatre during SMF 2011) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist whose music touches on honky-tonk, Texas country, Tex-Mex and rock and roll. Those who have followed Ruthie Foster know that she can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel. Ruthies astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride, one that has included two SMF performances and house concerts over the past five years. Paul Thorn has been pleasing crowds for years with his muscular brand of roots musicbluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern.

3/20/2015, 7:00 PM, Trustees Theater $25, 35, 45, 55

OPERA: Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

Giacomo Puccini, composer of La Bohme, Tosca and Madame Butterfly, was a leading exponent of Italian verismo opera. In the debut of opera at SMF, two of the three one-hour operas from Puccini's Il Trittico: Suor Angelica (a tragedy) and Gianni Schicchi (a comedy), make up an exciting co-production by SMF and the Savannah Voice Festival (SVF), featuring the Savannah Philharmonic and members of its chorus under celebrated opera conductor Eugene Kohn. Suor Angelica (sung by soprano Vernica Villarroel) is the tragic story of a young royal separated from her son by being exiled in a convent. As she awaits word about her life outside the nunnery, a visit from her Princess Aunt (sung by mezzo-soprano Susan Nicely) sheds light on the divergent paths of either eternal damnation or graceful redemption.The story of Gianni Schicchi (sung by baritone Mark Delavan) is about family, fortune and a clever man from Florence. A spin-off from Dantes Divine Comedy, the farce centers around the Donati family as they mourn the death of their wealthy uncle, Buoso. Finding he has left his fortune elsewhere, they scheme to recapture his wealth by asking Schicchi to devise a plan. Why should Gianni save them? Because his daughter, Lauretta (sung by Micala Oeste), is in love with their nephew! Sung in Italian with projected English translations, this lavish production comes to life in a virtual set designed and directed by Joachim Schamberger. This special co-production is in honor of Sherrill Milnes (renowned baritone and Artistic Director of SVF) 80th birthday.

3/20/2015, 7:30 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $45, 65, 85, 105

click to enlarge Shovels and Rope
  • Shovels and Rope

Shovels & Rope/Shakey Graves

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent forged singular paths as solo artists before connecting both musically and personally in Charleston, South Carolina. Since that moment, Shovels & Rope has been on an upward trajectory, performing their unique style of rowdy and rootsy folk-rock. Energetic and copious live shows have played a large part in building Shovels & Ropes reputation among audiences and their peers, the latter of whom voted the duo in for two 2013 Americana Music Awards, Emerging Artist of the Year as well as Song of the Year (for the vivid, semi-autobiographical "Birmingham"). Recently described as "astonishing, unclassifiably original and frighteningly good" by NPR Music, Shakey Graves is one of those rare artists whose music inspires the kind of obsessive devotion that compels fans to spend hours searching for more. In his hometown of Austin, Texas, the Mayor has even given Shakey his own local holiday (February 9th is officially Shakey Graves Day in Austin). Armed with just a guitar and a homemade kick drum, Shakey Graves makes the one-man band approach look effortless (The New York Times).

3/20/2015, 8:00 PM, Ships of the Sea North Garden $35

McIntosh County Shouters

The ring shout tradition of the Georgia coast was formed during times of slavery. A compelling fusion of dance, call-and-response singing and percussion (consisting of hand-clapping and beating a stick on the floor), the ring shout has African origins but also contains strong elements of Christian belief. National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellows, the McIntosh County Shouters are the foremost practitioners of this tradition, and have become SMF favorites. They are also performing for local schoolchildren grades K-2 as part of SMFs new Musical Explorers curriculum, which uses regional musical traditions to incorporate music into general classroom studies.

3/21/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Chamber Music II : Orchestral Masterworks by Mozart & Mendelssohn

In this collaborative chamber orchestra program, musicians from the Savannah Philharmonic perform with guest soloists from SMF's critically acclaimed chamber music series. Featuring rich orchestrations of works by Mozart and Mendelssohn, the centerpiece of this program is Felix Mendelssohns Violin Concerto in D minor, which was written when the composer was just 13 years old.

3/21/2015, 3:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $47

Come Rain or Come Shine Featuring Kurt Ollmann, J.J. Hobbs & Rebecca Flaherty

A mainstay of nearly every festival, this years original SMF cabaret production comes with the arrival of two new singers in Savannah: Musical theatre/opera star Kurt Ollman and, J.J. Hobbs. Ollmann and Hobbs will also be joined by special guest Rebecca Flaherty, a classically-trained soprano. The program will range from the sultry, bluesy ballads of Harold Arlen to the urbane wit of Stephen Sondheim by way of old-time specialty songs like Hard-Hearted Hannah (The Vamp of Savannah), all with intimate conversational patter that is personal, comedic and endearing.

3/21/2015, 5:00 & 7:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

3/22/2015, 7:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

3/23/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Blues in the Garden: Heritage Blues Orchestra

The Heritage Blues Orchestra is an inspiring testament to the enduring power, possibilities and boundless beauty of the blues. The grit of low-down country and urban blues with the hand-clapping fervor of gospel punctuated with fiery, haunting cries of work songs and pulsating drums that reach back to the roots of it all. Under the musical direction of Vincent Bucher, considered one of the most accomplished harmonica players anywhere, listeners journey across the Middle Passage, drive down Highway 49 from Clarksdale to New Orleans, go from chain gangs and juke joints to orchestra pits, church pews and even back porches.

3/21/2015, 5:00 & 8:15 PM, Ships of the Sea North Garden

Earls of Leicester Featuring Jerry Douglas, Shawn Camp, Charlie Cushman, Tim O'Brien, Johnny Warren and Barry Bales

Earls of Leicester (pronounced Lester) is led by Dobro master Jerry Douglas. The band also features acclaimed writer, producer and solo artist Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar, renowned Nashville banjoist Charlie Cushman, veteran songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and Hot Rize member Tim OBrien, second-generation fiddle phenom Johnny Warren and bassist Barry Bales, Douglas longtime bandmate in Alison Krauss and Union Station.

3/21/2015, 7:30 PM, Trustees Theater $25, 35, 45,55

OPERA: Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

3/22/2015, 2:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $45, 65, 85, 105

Recitals I : Nikolai Lugansky, piano

Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky's 2011 SMF debut was without a doubt a festival highlight, featuring a primarily Chopin recital that included deft interpretations with dynamics and phrasing that ranged from the lilting and dreamy to the staunchly resolute. Piano lovers won't want to miss what will be his triumphant return to Savannah.

3/22/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $52

Pre-Concert Talk with Kurt Ollmann, J.J. Hobbs & Rebecca Flaherty

3/22/2015, 6:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center

Chamber Music III : Brahms & His Influences

Johannes Brahms' Prater Quintet, a viola quintet that the composer intended to be his swan song, anchors this Daniel Hope & Friends concert. Also on this program is an important work from one of the founding fathers of the Second Vienna School, Anton Webern.

3/23/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $47

The Barr Brothers/The Apache Relay

Montreal meets Nashville in this two-night stand of folk-rock in the intimate Charles H. Morris Center. The Barr Brothers are fresh off an extensive European tour and a new recording, Sleeping Operator, which extends into cinematic and otherworldly territories while maintaining a campfire-like intimacy. The Apache Relay has toured in support of Mumford & Sons and played major venues and festivals, including Bonnaroo, the Newport Folk Festival, among others.

3/23/2015, 7:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $30

3/24/2015, 7:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $30

Dave Stryker Quartet

Jazz guitar great Dave Stryker has made 25 recordings as a bandleader and as a sideman for such artists as Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff and Kevin Mahogany. He has been voted in the Top Ten Guitarists in the DownBeat readers poll, and a Rising Star in the DownBeat critics poll. This is his first SMF performance as a leader, so come and find out why Pat Metheny calls Stryker a guitarist with one of the most joyous feels around. Stryker is joined by pianist Bill Peterson, bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis.

3/24/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Arias & Encores: Featuring artists from the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs

As part of the operatic offerings of SMF and its collaboration with the Savannah VOICE Festival and VOICExperience, artists from Puccinis Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi give an exciting encore performance that includes favorites from the canons of opera, musical theater and song. Featuring the artists from the Savannah VOICE Festivals 2014 season, this specially conceived program showcases some of the best new talent in opera and musical theatre.

3/24/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $35

Bouncin with Bud: Tardo Hammer plays Bud Powell

For more than three decades, jazz pianist Tardo Hammer has been a major figure in New York's bebop scene, having played with Johnny Griffin, Art Farmer, Junior Cook and Lionel Hampton, among many others. In this special lunchtime concert, Hammer will showcase the compositions of Bud Powell, the great bebop pianist, who along with his colleague Thelonious Monk, took Charlie Parkers musical language and adapted it to the piano.

3/25/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Warren Vach Quintet plays Bud Powell/Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet

Trumpet player Warren Vach returns to Savannah with his own quintet. Vach's style has been influenced by a great variety of the classic players: Louis Armstrong, George Pee Wee Erwin (with whom Vach studied for many years) and Roy Eldridge, among others, while developing his own inimitable style. This program features the music of jazz giant Benny Carter.

3/25/2015, 5:30 & 8:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Recitals II : Milo Karadagli, guitar

Since his sold-out 2012 SMF debut, 30-year old classical guitarist Milo Karadagli has become the pride of Montenegro, topping the UK classical charts and touring the world over. Milo's passion for the guitar is matched with an intuitive sense of how to bring the instrument across to his publicwhether it be for an audience of thousands in the Royal Albert Hall or an intimate chamber music performance for 100 people. 3/25/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $52

Warren Vach Quintet plays Benny Carter

This is an exclusive lunchtime performance by the Warren Vach Quintet, featuring tenor saxophonist Houston Person, Tardo Hammer on piano, Nicki Parrott =on bass and Leroy Williams on drums. 3/26/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Jazz on the River

3/26/2015, 4:00 PM, Rousakis Plaza FREE

Chamber Music IV : Early Masters

This program brings together the nucleus of Daniel Hope's European and U.S. colleagues, marking the 2015 return of bassist Joseph Conyers, a Savannah native and Assistant Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

3/26/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $47

Sean Jones Quartet/Warren Wolf & Wolfpack

SMF audiences will remember trumpeter, bandleader, educator and composer Sean Jones from when he performed at SMF 2012 and SMF 2010. He is presently the Brass Department Chair at Berklee College of Music. Jones will be joined by Orrin Evans on piano, Luques Curtis on bass and Obed Calvaire on drums.Warren Wolf first performed at SMF 2003. Endless possibilities open up when Wolf stands over the vibraphone, and his Wolfpack quartet plays with soul and fire.

3/26/2015, 6:30 & 9:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Kodo

Excitingly varied, marvelously theatrical, fascinating from start to finish, with moments of vivid physical excitement, Kodo is a group of dancers and drummers from Japan who explore the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese taiko drum.

3/26/2015, 8:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $25, 35, 45, 55

Sean Jones Quartet

3/27/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Recitals III : Stephen Hough, piano

Named by The Economist as one of 20 Living Polymaths, British pianist Stephen Hough is a rare renaissance man of our time, and was conferred as a Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. Over the course of a long and distinguished career as one of the world's leading concert pianists, he has also excelled as a writer and composer. In 2001, he was the first classical performing artist to receive a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

3/27/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $52

The Louis Armstrong Continuum/Swing Central Jazz Finale

Following performances by the top three finalists from the Swing Central Jazz competition, this original production will be an evening devoted to the legacy of Louis Armstrong, an American genius of 20th century music. Groups led by Marcus Roberts, Warren Vach and Wycliffe Gordon will all be featured.

3/27/2015, 7:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $22, 32, 42, 52, 62

Lunasa

Comprised of Sen Smyth (fiddle and low whistles), Kevin Crawford (flute, low whistles and tin whistles), Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass) and the groups newest member Ed Boyd (guitar), Lunasa delivers music with a passion that informs every note and continues to define and redefine the genre.

3/27/2015, 8:00 PM, Ships of the Sea North Garden $35

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams has been maneuvering down a musical path all her own for more than three decades since emerging from Lake Charles, Louisiana, a town with rich traditions of indigenous American music. More than 30 years later, after having been named America's best songwriter by TIME Magazine in 2002, Williams distinctive delta-infused country soul sound is as strong as ever. "Her music places itself in a vanishing, idealized Southland where country, soul, blues and gospel all share a common spirit and a vocabulary of twang" (The New York Times).

3/27/2015, 8:30 PM, Trustees Theater $32, 42, 52, 62

Late Night Jam with Sean Jones Quartet featuring Wycliffe Gordon & Friends

A highlight of every festival season has become the annual late night jazz jam, which wraps up our week with Swing Central Jazz in a fiery concert at the Charles H. Morris Center. This year, the Sean Jones Quartet provides the backbone to the jam and will welcome a variety of musicians including acclaimed soloists such as Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Roberts, Warren Vach and many others. A must-see for fans of swing and improvisation!

3/27/2015, 10:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $30

Marcus Roberts Trio

SMF Associate Artistic Director Marcus Roberts offers another extraordinary look into his original artistry with a rare full-concert SMF appearance with his trio featuring bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis. After nearly 20 years of performing together, the near telepathic sound of the Marcus Roberts Trio is one in which all the musicians share equally in shaping the direction of the music through changing its tempo, mood, texture or form, through a system of musical cues. As a result, each trio members enormous individual talent is showcased along with the powerfully rhythmic group sound.

3/28/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Recitals IV : Murray Perahia, piano

Murray Perahia's Savannah debut could be the most highly anticipated classical piano event in the history of SMF. In the more than 40 years that he has been performing on the concert stage, Perahia has become one of the most sought-after and cherished pianists of our time, performing in all of the major international music centers and with every leading orchestra. He is the recipient of two GRAMMY Awards, for his recordings of Chopins complete tudes and Bach's English Suites Nos. 1, 3 and 6, and has won several Gramophone Awards. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of his outstanding service to music.The qualities that make Perahia one of todays leading artists of the keyboard lie in his ability to shine a penetrating and personal light on such music, in such a way that there is nothing at all standard about it.

3/28/2015, 3:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $70

New Orleans Soul & Brass Party: Irma Thomas/Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Internationally heralded as the Soul Queen of New Orleans, singer Irma Thomas had her first hit single when she was just 19 years old. With a career spanning six decades, Thomas is a Louisiana Music Hall of Famer and GRAMMY Award winning artist. She remains one of America's most distinctive singers, a treasure from the golden age of soul music whose performances are as compelling and powerful as ever. In 1977, The Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club in New Orleans began showcasing a traditional Crescent City brass band. Thirty-seven years later, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (DDBB) is a world famous music ensemble whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances.

3/28/2015, 5:00 & 8:30 PM, Ships of the Sea North Garden $40

Pre-Concert Talk with Ken Meltzer

3/28/2015, 7:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts FREE

Hot Rize

For a dozen years beginning in 1978, the band Hot Rize was arguably the most influential bluegrass band of its time, equally informed by a taste for the music of Leadbelly and Freddie King, swing, old-time Appalachia, and more.

3/28/2015, 7:30 PM, Trustees Theater $25, 35,$45, 55

Latin Dance Party: Adonis Puentes & The Voice of Cuba Orchestra

Fronting a dynamite ten-piece band, Cuban born Adonis Puentes (above) is a GRAMMY-nominated singer and bandleader who opens up the marvelous world of Cuban music with syncopated rhythms, propulsive bass lines, nuanced horn arrangements and melodic piano and guitar.

3/28/2015, 8:00 & 10:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Lynn Harrell, cello

In their tenth consecutive SMF appearance, the world-renowned Atlanta Symphony Orchestra brings a powerful program of symphonic masterworks.

3/28/2015, 8:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $32, $42, $52, $65, $75

Chamber Music V : Emerson String Quartet

Making their fifth appearance at SMF (and first since the 2012 season), this all-Beethoven concert marks the first time Savannah audiences can see the renowned Emerson String Quartet with new cellist Paul Watkins in action. One of the characteristics of the Emerson Quartet is that its players all have the ability and the instruments to produce a sweet and glossy soundbut do so sparingly.

3/29/2015, 3:00 PM, Temple Mickve Israel $52

Hot Club of Cowtown/Asleep at the Wheel

This three-day run at the Charles H. Morris Center brings together two of the most influential bands playing western swing today, Hot Club of Cowtown (above)and Asleep at the Wheel. Hot Club of Cowtowns influences have always been as much the musette music of the smoky bistros of 1930s Paris as they are the hoedowns and Western swing of the mythic American West. Praised for their down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation (The Times of London), the Hot Club has set up camp at that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away (The Independent), and conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time (The New York Times). Asleep at the Wheel has seen miles and miles of Texas. They got their kicks on Route 66, and in 2010, the band clicked another milestone on the odometertheir 40th anniversary. Altogether, they have won nine Grammy Awards since their 1970 inception. In their career, they have released more than twenty studio albums, and have charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard country charts. The band continues to introduce the western swing genre to new generations of listeners. Taking a page from Bob Wills book, the band has constantly toured at a national level throughout its history, with anywhere from 7 to 15 of the finest players that founder Ray Benson could talk into jumping on the bus to play a string of dates. The alumni roster is over 80+ members, and includes an impressive list of musicians who have gone on to perform with artists such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Lyle Lovett and many more.

3/29/2015, 4:30 & 7:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $40

3/30/2015, 5:00 & 7:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $40

3/31/2015, 5:00 & 7:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $40

Julian Lage & Jorge Roeder

Guitarist, composer and arranger Julian Lage (above) is often categorized as a jazz musician, though his music is also rooted in traditional and acoustic forms. In addition to five prior SMF performances both solo and with a variety of collaborators including Mark OConnor, Martin Taylor, Mike Marshall and Casey Driessen, Julian Lage has served on the faculty of SMFs Acoustic Music Seminar (see page 47) since its inception in 2012. For this special lunchtime concert, Lage is joined by Jorge Roeder, one of the most versatile bassists on the New York jazz scene. Roeder was awarded first prize at the 2007 International Society Of Bassists Jazz Competition, was a semi-finalist at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Jazz Bass Competition, and has played with such luminaries as Steve Lacy, Gary Burton and Kenny Werner. In this duo project, Julian Lage and Jorge Roeder display incredible musicianship, creative improvisation and boundless creativity.

3/30/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

CHAMBER MUSIC VI : Emerson String Quartet with Daniel Hope & Friends

3/30/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $52

Kayhan Kalhor & Brooklyn Rider

Kayhan Kalhor is an acclaimed Persian musician and a founding member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. A virtuoso on the kamancheh (spike fiddle), his performances of traditional Persian music and his unique collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe. In his SMF debut, Kalhor will be performing with the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, an adventurous, genre-defying string quartet that combines a wildly eclectic repertoire with a gripping performance style that is attracting legions of fans and drawing critical acclaim from music reviewers from all genres.

3/30/2015, 8:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $25, 35, 45, 55, 65

CHAMBER MUSIC VII : Vive la France

This all-French program spotlights two of the great works in the piano quartet literature. Though Saint-Sans and Chausson both wrote opera and song, areas of primary focus for many of their contemporaries, the two composers stood out with their substantial contributions to the chamber music repertoire.

3/31/2015, 11:00 AM, Trinity United Methodist Church $30

Bela Fleck with Brooklyn Rider

Banjoist/composer Bla Fleck has performed on seven different occasions at SMF, each time with distinctly different projects. His 2015 appearance will be no exception, as he joins forces with the acclaimed string quartet Brooklyn Rider during their 2015 SMF residency. In addition to multiple performances, Brooklyn Rider will be teaching young musicians during SMF's Acoustic Music Seminar. Fleck has written several new compositions for the ensemble, which will be showcased at this concert.

3/31/2015, 7:30 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $25, 35, 45, 55, 65

CHAMBER MUSIC VIII : Brooklyn Rider

4/1/2015, 11:00 AM, Trinity United Methodist Church $30

Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso

Associate Director of SMF's Acoustic Music Seminar, Mike Marshall is one of the world's most accomplished mandolinists. Marshall began his love affair with the music of Brazil after a visit there, before embarking on an in-depth study of the roots of the Brazilian choro. His group Choro Famoso has helped spearhead a wave in the U.S. for this infectious style.

4/1/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

RECITALS V : Paul Lewis, piano

Paul Lewis' cycles of piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim across the globe, solidifying his reputation as one of the worlds foremost interpreters of European classical repertoire.

4/1/2015, 6:00 PM, Trinity United Methodist Church $52

click to enlarge Clarice Assad
  • Clarice Assad

Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso/Clarice Assad/Off the Cliff

When French composer Darius Milhaud first heard Brazilian pianist Ernesto Nazareth playing in downtown Rio de Janeiro, he stated that it gave him a deeper insight into the Brazilian soul. Nazareth was a formative figure in the development of the Brazilian choro, the instrumental popular Brazilian music that originated in 19th century Rio, which will be showcased on this evening.

4/1/2015, 8:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $25, 35, 45, 55, 65

CHAMBER MUSIC IX : Bruch & Brahms

Lorenza Borrani, violin; Carla Maria Rodrigues, viola; Eric Kim, cello; Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano.

4/2/2015, 11:00 AM, Unitarian Universalist Church $30

The World of Clarice AssadFeaturing Off the Cliff & Mike Marshall

A visionary composer and virtuoso pianist who draws on Heitor Villa-Lobos and Hermeto Pascoal in equal measure, and an overall practitioner of vocalese, Brazilian native Clarice Assad is as comfortable performing with a symphony orchestra as with her ancient-to-future unit Off The Cliff, which, as she puts it, uses different combinations of instruments from song to song so that it never sounds the same.

4/2/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $25

Vusi Mahlasela/Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus

Vusi Mahlasela is simply known as The Voice in his home country, South Africa, and is celebrated for his distinctive, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future. Dirk Powell has expanded on the deeply rooted sounds of his Appalachian heritage to become one of the preeminent traditional American musicians of his generation. Riley Baugus represents the best of old-time American banjo and song.

4/2/2015, 6:30 & 9:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

click to enlarge Josh Ritter
  • Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter

Since 1997, American songwriter, guitarist and author Josh Ritter has been creating some of the best folk-rock music to hit the airwaves. He has seen tremendous growth as an artist, and his unique style has been treasured by an ever-growing fan base. In 2006, Josh was named one of the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters by Paste Magazine.

4/2/2015, 8:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $22, $32, $42, $47, $55

Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus

This is an exclusive lunchtime performance by two masters of old-time music Dirk Powell and Riley Baugus.

4/3/2015, 12:30 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $20

Acoustic Music Seminar Finale

After five days of collaborations and instruction by some of the worlds finest acoustic musicians, the 16 participants of the 2015 Acoustic Music Seminar (AMS) present their latest compositions in an original program. This fourth annual Stringband Spectacular will feature performances by Casey Driessen, AMS Associate Director Mike Marshall and lead clinician Julian Lage. This momentous event is the culmination of a week of hard work and has become one of the crowd favorites of SMF.

4/3/2015, 6:00 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $15, 25, 35, 45

Cajun Dance Party: The Band Courtbouillon

Three is the magic number when youre counting Cajun music virtuosos in this GRAMMY winning supergroup. In their Savannah debut, The Band Courtbouillon Wayne Le Boss Toups, Steve Riley (of the Mamou Playboys) and Wilson Savoy (of the Pine Leaf Boys)will let the good times roll the old-fashioned, two-stepping way. This promises to be one of the great SMF Cajun Dance Parties.

4/3/2015, 7:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Dianne Reeves

Returning for her fourth SMF appearance and her first since the 2011 double bill with Brazilian guitarist Chico Pinheiro, jazz singer and multiple GRAMMY winner Dianne Reeves is among the preeminent jazz vocalists of the past three decades.

4/3/2015, 8:00 PM, Trustees Theater $32, 42, 52, 62

Cajun Dance Party: The Band Courtbouillon

Three is the magic number when youre counting Cajun music virtuosos in this GRAMMY winning supergroup. In their Savannah debut, The Band Courtbouillon Wayne Le Boss Toups, Steve Riley (of the Mamou Playboys) and Wilson Savoy (of the Pine Leaf Boys)will let the good times roll the old-fashioned, two-stepping way. This promises to be one of the great SMF Cajun Dance Parties.

4/3/2015, 9:00 PM, Charles H. Morris Center $35

Chamber Music X : Passionate Piano Quartets

This collaboration of four extraordinary musicians was born out of the incredible success at a 2012 Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Lincoln Center performance in New York that explored the influence of violinist Joseph Joachim. Three members of CMS, including Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han along with Paul Neubauer, join forces with SMF Associate Artistic Director Daniel Hope to present a powerful program of Romantic era masterworks, including arguably the greatest piano quartet in the chamber music repertoire.

4/4/2015, 3:00 PM, Savanna Theatre $47, 57

Rosanne Cash

For more than three decades, Rosanne Cash has been one of the most compelling figures in country music. The eldest daughter of Johnny Cash and stepdaughter of June Carter Cash of the legendary Carter Family, Rosanne's musical and family legacy is rooted in the origins of American country music with its deep cultural and historical connections to the South.

4/4/2015, 7:30 PM, Lucas Theatre for the Arts $32, 42, 52, 62, 75

Closing Night Party

DakhaBrakha, meaning give/take in the old Ukrainian language, is a world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. The band creates a universe of unexpected new music in a variety of native melodies and rhythms. Founded by former underground theater performers, DakhaBrakha has mesmerized audiences across the globe, from last year's Roskilde Festival to globalFEST 2014. In Rolling Stone's Best Things We Saw at Bonnaroo 2014 recap article, DakhaBrakha was deemed Best Breakout!

4/4/2015, 9:00 PM, Ships of the Sea North Garden $30

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