Savannah Jazz Festival Kicks Off This Week
Now in its 31st year, the Savannah Jazz Festival in Savannah, Ga., began on Sept. 23 and will run until Sept. 30. The event is the largest free festival in the Southeast and will feature a versatile program that ranges from swing to hard-bop to blues, with a headlining set by Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials.
The 2012 edition of the fest will have increased presence from endorsers and sponsors, both on the stage and off. “This year is particularly significant for [mouthpiece manufacturer] JodyJazz because it represents the company’s deepest involvement and sponsorship to date,” said Colin Schofield, vice president of sales and marketing. “That support is both through the broad participation of [JodyJazz President] Jody [Espina] himself in many of the concerts and events and also by sponsoring the special guest appearance of Ed Calle and Sam Skelton, two of the company’s most influential endorser artists.”
Presented by the Coastal Jazz Association, the Savannah Jazz Fest’s Sept. 27 blues program will be headlined by Chicago band Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, who play at the festival’s main venue, The Bandstand at Forsyth Park. Also included in this week’s program are several late-night jam sessions at local performance space and restaurant Blowin’ Smoke. On Sept. 24, the venue will screen the documentary In Good Time: The Piano Jazz Of Marian McPartland, followed by a special appearance by producer and director James “Huey” Coleman Jr.
Other acts to perform this week include The Jody Espina Quartet (which will feature President of Benedetto Guitars Howard Paul), Bob Mastellar & The Jazz Corner All-Stars, the Tony Monaco B3 Trio and the Eric Culberson Band.
“The Savannah Jazz Festival has been gaining momentum every year and is gaining recognition beyond the Savannah area,” Schofield said. He added that JodyJazz will be sponsoring the Sept. 29 performance by the Savannah Jazz Orchestra, which will spotlight saxophonists Calle, Skelton and Espina on select original works.
For more information on the lineup and schedule, visit the Savannah Jazz Festival’s website.