Entering into its 29th year, the 2018 Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is poising itself for a powerful three weeks of performances as it runs from March 29th through April 14th, 2018. Not limiting itself to classical programming, the festival will feature, jazz, folk, theatre and film, all culminating in a final-day, multi-stage event at Georgia’s historic Trustees’ Gardens.
“We’re thrilled to incorporate two new venues including into this year’s festival,” remarks Executive & Artistic Director Rob Gibson. “In addition to the fabulous new Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts concert hall, we are elated to utilize one of Georgia’s most historical outdoor sites at Trustees’ Garden. With the multitude of artists and patrons that impact our city across nearly three weeks, these new spaces offer a unique opportunity to build on our mission of creating a high-quality exchange between artists and audiences in Savannah.”
The festival will begin with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, visiting as part of a three-concert residency, performing with SMF Associate Artistic Director and violinist Daniel Hope. Renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman will perform with his Zukerman Trio. The chamber music series will also include Alan Fletcher’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, being co-commissioned by SMF, New Century Chamber Orchestra, and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Among the recitalists are famed pianists Murray Perahia, Marc Andre Hamelin, and Yekwon Sunwoo, winner of the 2017 Van Cliburn Gold award. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will be making their 13th consecutive appearance with maestro Robert Spano. The Savannah VOICE Festival will showcase classics from the American Songbook and musical theatre in their co-production “Classical Broadway.”
Jazz pianists Sullivan Fortner and Chris Pattishall will be performing in a number of projects, including an original production entitled “Trumpet Masters: Celebrating Louis Armstrong & Lee Morgan.” An all-star concert will follow the annual Swing Central Jazz workshop and competition.
SMF Associate Artistic Director Marcus Roberts has penned the score for a multi-media presentation of “Death of a King,” starring Tavis Smiley, which follows the final year of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Performance group Manual Cinema will present their original work “Lula del Ray,” described as a classic coming-of-age story with a mythical reinterpretation. Among the film at SMF 2018 are two will original live scoring: “BiRDMAN LiVE,” which is a screening of the Academy Award-winning film “Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” scored by jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez, and “The Goddess,” a Chinese silent film from 1934, set to a new score by uana Molina.
SMF’s all-day festival finale at Trustees’ Garden is a multi-stage continuous presentation of live music featuring Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gillian Welch, Marc Broussard, Brent Cobb, Brett Dennen, Septeto Santiaguero, Mipso, Sammy Miller & the Congregation, Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo, Velvet Caravan with special guest Jessica Ann Best and the Acoustic Music Seminar finale, Stringband Spectacular.