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Savannah Music Festival

Rollin' & Tumblin': SMF Lineup Additions and IPA Release featuring Jarekus Singleton


 Join us for an additional round of concert announcements at Southbound Brewing Company with live music by The Jarekus Singleton!

Friday, February 6
8pm doors
8:30pm music

$20 advanced ticket/$25 day of includes concert admission, a souvenir pint glass, and Southbound Brewing Company beer samplings--including Savannah Music Festival's "Rollin' & Tumblin'"!

This event is 21+.



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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. Singer/fiddler Buddy Melton took home Male Vocalist of the Year, and the group was honored with the Vocal Group of the Year award and the prestigious Entertainer of the Year crown. Their 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!

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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. Balsam Range arrives fresh off the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards ceremony with more nominations than any other band in bluegrass music. Singer/fiddler Buddy Melton took home Male Vocalist of the Year, and the group was honored with the Vocal Group of the Year award and the prestigious Entertainer of the Year crown. Their 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!

Led by 2014 IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year Adam Steffey and multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart, The Boxcars originated after the Dan Tyminski Band slowed down its touring in 2010. Teaming up with two leaders from Blue Moon Rising (Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon), The Boxcars began what is still a flourishing collaboration. The band recently welcomed dobro player Gary Hultman, a former student of Adam Steffey in the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program, and alumnus of SMF's Acoustic Music Seminar.



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Chamber Music Bundle


Bundle includes one ticket to each the following performances:

Chamber Music I : Around Beethoven
Thursday, March 19 at 6 PM

Chamber Music II : Orchestral Masterworks by Mozart & Mendelssohn
Saturday, March 21 at 3 PM

Chamber Music III : Brahms & His Influences
Monday, March 23 at 6 PM

Chamber Music IV : Early Masters
Thursday, March 26 at 6 PM

Chamber Music V : Emerson String Quartet
Sunday, March 29 at 3 PM

Chamber Music VI : Emerson String Quartet with Daniel Hope & Friends
Monday, March 30 at 6 PM

Chamber Music VII : Vive la France
Tuesday, March 31 at 11 AM

Chamber Music VIII : Brooklyn Rider
Wednesday, April 1 at 11 AM

Chamber Music IX : Bruch & Brahms
Thursday, April 2 at 11 AM


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CHAMBER MUSIC I: Around Beethoven


Schubert - Adagio e Rondo Concertante, D. 487 for Piano Quartet
Beethoven - Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 1
Schubert - String Quintet in C Major, D. 956, Op. posth. 163

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 Beethoven’s innovative Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op.1, composed in 1793.

Daniel Hope, violin
Benny Kim, violin
Philip Dukes, viola
Eric Kim, cello
Keith Robinson, cello
Sebastian Knauer, piano



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Director's Choice


Receive 10% off when you purchase three or more of the 2015 Director’s Choice concerts:
Chamber Music I: Around Beethoven
Chamber Music II: Orchestral Masterworks
Chamber Music III: Brahms & His Influences
Chamber Music IV: Early Masters
Chamber Music VI: Emerson String Quartet with Daniel Hope & Friends
Chamber Music VII: Vive la France
Chamber Music X: Passionate Piano Quartets
SMF & SVF present "Suor Angelica" & "Gianni Schicchi"
Come Rain or Come Shine
The Barr Brothers/Apache Relay
Recitals I: Nikolai Lugansky
Recitals III: Stephen Hough
Recitals IV: Murray Perahia
Recitals V: Paul Lewis
Warren Vache Quintet/Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Giants of Texas Swing
Kayhan Kalhor & Brooklyn Rider
Bela Fleck & Brooklyn Rider
Chamber Music VIII: Brooklyn Rider
Latin Dance Party
South Africa Meets the American South
Cajun Dance Party
Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso
The Brazilian Soul
The World of Clarice Assad
AMS Finale: Stringband Spectacular

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First Weekend Discovery


Bundle includes one ticket to each the following performances:

Chamber Music I: Around Beethoven
Thursday, March 19 at 6 PM

Zydeco Dance Party
Friday, March 20 at 9 PM

McIntosh County Shouters
Saturday, March 21 at 12:30 PM

Blues in the Garden: Heritage Blues Orchestra
Saturday, March 21 at 5 PM

Come Rain or Come Shine
Sunday, March 22 at 7 PM


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The Wood Brothers/AJ Ghent Band


Back for their third SMF performance after opening for the Derek Trucks Band in 2010 and kicking off the SMF concerts at the Ships of the Sea North Garden in 2013, 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.

The AJ Ghent Band fuses Southern rock, blues, soul and funk music, to create what frontman AJ Ghent calls Southern Soul. His father, great uncle and grandfather are all considered masters of the Sacred Steel gospel of the Pentecostal church, which exposed him to lap steel guitar at an early age. 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.



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One True Vine: Mavis Staples


A National Heritage Fellowship Award winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement winner, Mavis Staples’s 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, 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! More than half a century of American social history is embodied in the warm, earthy voice of the great R&B gospel singer Mavis Staples…“her grainy, low-voiced, minimally ornamented singing is rooted to a family tradition that spans more than 60 years.” —The New York Times

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The Boxcars


Led by 2014 IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year Adam Steffey and multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart, The Boxcars originated after the Dan Tyminski Band slowed down its touring in 2010. Teaming up with two leaders from Blue Moon Rising (Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon), The Boxcars began what is still a flourishing collaboration. The band recently welcomed dobro player Gary Hultman, a former student of Adam Steffey in the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program, and alumnus of SMF’s Acoustic Music Seminar.

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Opera in Savannah Experience


Premiere ticket package available to enhance your evening at the Opera! Please join us for a memorable night an exclusive Opera In Savannah experience.

Exclusive "Opera In Savannah" Experience:
March 20, 2015 7:30pm performance only, and includes:
- Pre-event cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres at 45 Bistro
- Post-event meet & greet on Lucas Theatre stage with opera cast and champagne toast

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SMF and SVF present: Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi


Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano
Directed by Joachim Schamberger
Conducted by Eugene Kohn
Featuring the Savannah Philharmonic

A co-production with Savannah Voice Festival in Celebration of Sherrill Milnes' 80th Birthday

Giacomo Puccini, composer of La Bohème, 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 Verónica 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 Dante's 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 Micaëla 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.



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Southern Troubadours


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. Ruthie’s 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 music—bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern.

“… sounds long-suffering, forthright, resilient and thoroughly at home.” —The New York Times



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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 Chenier’s 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.

“Musical magic in the form of R&B and zydeco music came to town Sunday night from Lafayette, La., home to these phenomenal Creole players who have made zydeco a major musical force since their 1979 debut. The whole spectacle was thoroughly entertaining, and brought to mind the finest elements of showmanship that night during the Buckwheat Zydeco concert.” —Shoreline Times, New Haven, CT



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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 & Rope’s reputation among audiences and their peers, the latter of whom voted for 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).

“If there is an American rock movement of the now, this acoustic twosome from Charleston, S.C., is close to the nerve center.” —The New York Times



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