Savannah Music Festival Announces Lineup and Schedule for 2023: 90 live performances

Multi-Genre Music Festival Offers Unique Co-Bills from Acclaimed Jazz, Folk, Blues, Classical and American and Global Roots Music Artists from March 23 to April 8, 2023, featuring Buddy Guy, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Terence Blanchard, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Patty Griffin, Leo Kottke, Los Lobos, Sona Jobarteh, Emerson String Quartet, S.G. Goodman, Regina Carter and More

The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) announced its 2023 season, which runs from March 23 through April 8, 2023.

“Our 34th season expands upon what our organization has always championed, creating a compelling musical experience of global scope within Savannah’s Historic District,” remarks Savannah Music Festival Artistic Director Ryan McMaken. “We welcome audiences and artists into our creative community to enjoy stellar performances in intimate, historic indoor venues as well as expansive outdoor spaces.”

Called “one of the Southeast’s most creative cross-cultural musical events” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the 17-day festival has been raising the bar each year by showcasing an exceptional cross section of award-winning icons, trailblazing contemporaries and dynamic newcomers. SMF 2023 features a series of outdoor performances at Trustees’ Garden, including two nights showcasing living legend and blues pioneer Buddy Guy on his “Damn Right Farewell” tour with special guests Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Eric Gales, King Solomon Hicks and Jontavious Willis. The Tedeschi Trucks Band returns after a four-year hiatus, and New Orleans jam favorites Galactic teams up with funk maestro Cory Wong and the jazz, R&B and pop fusion of Nate Smith + KINFOLK for a special performance.

Classical highlights include the Philip Dukes & Friends chamber music series, led by the world-renowned viola player and SMF Associate Artistic Director Dukes. A concert by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, also with Dukes and former SMF Artistic Director Daniel Hope, represents a symbolic passing of the baton from Hope to Dukes. Additionally, the esteemed chamber ensemble the Emerson String Quartet makes a stop in Savannah on their final tour, the Dover Quartet performs with Savannah’s own Joseph Conyers, and acclaimed emerging pianists Alexander Malofeev and Drew Petersen give recitals.

click to enlarge Savannah Music Festival Announces Lineup and Schedule for 2023: 90 live performances
Piero Giunti
Los Lobos

Also known for unique artist collaborations, the 2023 festival will offer a number of one-time-only programs and special double bills. Melding world music with Americana, Malian master of the ngoni (precursor to the banjo) Bassekou Kouyate shares a bill with Jake Blount, scholar/performer of the Black string band tradition, appearing with Nic Gareiss and Laurel Premo. Master old-time and bluegrass practitioners Bruce Molsky, Tony Trischka and Michael Daves share the stage with The Onlies, which finds the mentors alongside a young, award-winning string band. Newgrass pioneers Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas share the stage, with Bush’s set featuring the inimitable music of the late John Hartford. Acclaimed jazz violinist Regina Carter offers “Gone in a Phrase of Air,” an original music and multimedia performance that explores the effects of the urban renewal of the 1950s and 1960s. Kenny Barron, Dave Holland and Johnathan Blake celebrate Barron’s 80th birthday, Terence Blanchard & E-Collective perform with the Turtle Island Quartet, and Grammy Award-nominated jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant shares the stage with vocal sextet San Salvador.

click to enlarge Savannah Music Festival Announces Lineup and Schedule for 2023: 90 live performances
Dario Acosta
Drew Peterson

Always exceeding expectations for festival goers who are eager to discover new favorites, 2023 debut artists include Terence Blanchard, Patty Griffin, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Leo Kottke, Regina Carter, Sona Jobarteh, Natu Camara, Stanton Moore Trio, Los Lobos, The Alt with Oisin McAuley, Téada, S.G. Goodman, Harold Lopez-Nussa’s “Timba a la Americana” and more. Additional highlights include a Zydeco Dance Party featuring Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, a Latin Dance Party with Eddie Palmieri’s Latin Jazz Band, as well as a Cajun Dance Party featuring The Lost Bayou Ramblers.

In addition to excellence in musical presentations, SMF is also committed to supporting music education in the Savannah community, with programs inside and outside of the classroom. Musical Explorers, now in its ninth year, is a year-round education program for K-2 students which reaches over 10,000 children locally. SMF Jazz Academy is a free after-school program for students in grades 5-12, offering instruments, private lessons, public performances and more for in-depth, immersive learning experiences.

Tickets start at $31 and can be purchased online at savannahmusicfestival.org, by phone at 912.525.5050 or in person at the Savannah Box Office, located at 216 E. Broughton St. A pre-sale for SMF supporters begins on November 17, with tickets available to the public on December 1 at 10 a.m.

click to enlarge Savannah Music Festival Announces Lineup and Schedule for 2023: 90 live performances
Brendon Burton
Vivian and Riley


Savannah Music Festival 2023 Schedule

Tuesday, March 21

                        Pink Martini feat. China Forbes (pre-festival concert)

Thursday, March 23

                        Noon30: Christian Sands, piano

                        Christian Sands High Wire Trio*

                        Aaron Lee Tasjan / S.G. Goodman

                        Zurich Chamber Orchestra feat. Daniel Hope & Philip Dukes

Friday, March 24

                        Sona Jobarteh / Natu Camara*

                        Alexander Malofeev, piano

                        The Infamous Stringdusters / Sierra Hull

Saturday, March 25

                        KODO: Tsuzumi

                        Buddy Guy “Damn Right Farewell” Day One w/ Eric Gales & King Solomon Hicks

Sunday, March 26

                        Philip Dukes & Friends I: Schubertiade

                        Buddy Guy “Damn Right Farewell” Day One w/ Christone “Kingfish” Ingram &

                        Jontavious Willis

Tuesday, March 28

                        Anna Tilbrook & Friends

                        Charles McPherson Quintet feat. Sean Jones /Joe Alterman Trio with Houston Person*

                        Maeve Gilchrist: The Harpweaver

Wednesday, March 29

                        Noon30: Charles McPherson Quintet feat. Sean Jones

                        Philip Dukes & Friends II: Purcell, Mozart, Beethoven

                        Tedeschi Trucks Band / Eddie 9V opens

Thursday, March 30

                        Noon30: Bruce Molsky & Maeve Gilchrist

                        Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band (Dance Party)*

                        Bruce Molsky, Tony Trischka & Michael Daves / The Onlies

                        St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Friday, March 31

                        Noon30: Bruce Molsky

                        Jack Liebeck, violin & Sebastian Knauer, piano

                        Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno / The Foreign Landers*

                        Cajun Dance Party: The Lost Bayou Ramblers*

                        Terence Blanchard feat. the E-Collective & Turtle Island Quartet

Saturday, April 1

                        Noon30: Pasquale Grasso Trio

                        Alexa Tarantino Quartet / Pasquale Grasso Trio*

                        Stanton Moore Trio / Roosevelt Collier*

                        Philip Dukes & Friends III: Dohnanyi’s Delight

                        Los Lobos

Sunday, April 2

                        Galactic / Cory Wong / Nate Smith

Tuesday, April 4

                        Philip Dukes & Friends IV: The Finale

                        GER Mandolin Orchestra, Mike Marshall, Music Director

Wednesday, April 5

                        Regina Carter: Gone in a Phrase of Air

                        Sam Bush Plays John Hartford / The Jerry Douglas Band

Thursday, April 6

                        Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba / Jake Blount, Nic Gareiss & Laurel Premo*

                        Dover Quartet with Joseph Conyers

                        Leo Kottke

Friday, April 7

                        The Alt with Oisín McAuley / Téada*

                        Kenny Barron & Dave Holland Trio with Johnathan Blake*

                        Emerson String Quartet

                        Patty Griffin

                        The Alt with Oisín McAuley / Téada

Saturday, April 8

                        Noon30: Téada

                        Etienne Charles: Traces feat. Vincent Ségal, Jorge Glem & Or Bareket / Harold

                        López-Nussa: Timba a la Americana feat. Gregoire Maret, Luques Curtis & Ruy

                        Adrian López-Nussa*

                        Zydeco Dance Party: Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys*

                        Drew Petersen, piano

                        Cecile McLorin Salvant / San Salvador

(*denotes multiple concert times)




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