Guitarist Pat Martino will headline the 2011 Savannah Jazz Festival, Sept. 24 in Forsyth Park. That's the penultimate day of the always-free musical celebration, which will open on Sept. 18 and continue through the 25th, at various venues still to be announced.
Based in Philadelphia, Martino has been recording - as a headlining artist and all-star sideman - since the mid 1960s. In 2004, he was named Guitar Player of the Year by the readers of Downbeat magazine.
Martino and his group - which includes Pat Bianchi on Hammond B3 organ and Shawn Hill on drums - will be preceded by a Savannah Jazz Orchestra performance, with guest trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Ron Wilkins.
Blues Night (Sept. 22 in Forsyth Park) will feature Savannah's Bottles & Cans, the Eric Culberson Band and Mississippi singer/songwriter Super Chikan.
Other performers during festival week include the Howard Paul Quartet, Bob Masteller & the Jazz Corner Quintet, the Savannah Arts Academy Starlite Jazz Orchestra and Coastal Jazz Association All-Stars.
The full schedule - including venues - is expected to be posted shortly at savannahjazzfestival.org.