2018 Savannah Jazz Festival lineup announced - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

2018 Savannah Jazz Festival lineup announced

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

In just a few short months, the sweet sounds of jazz will fill Forsyth Park for the 37th annual Savannah Jazz Festival.

The performance lineup was just announced for the week-long event, scheduled for September 23-29.

The following is this year’s lineup information from the Coastal Jazz Association:

Featured headliners include legendary pianist and keyboardist Chuck Leavell who has performed with esteemed bands and musicians such as The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and The Allman Brothers Band just to name a few. This special performance will be the world debut of Leavell’s newest album “Chuck Gets Big” and will be accompanied by the Savannah Jazz Orchestra. 

Jazz and baseball meet when Bernie Williams headlines Friday evening’s performances in Forsyth Park. Transitioning from centerfielder for the New York Yankees to center stage after a 16-year career in baseball and four World Series rings, Williams on a Savannah-made Benedetto guitar will entertain concert-goers with his own style of jazz and tropical rhythms. 

Multiple Juno Award-winning and Grammy nominated soprano saxophonist and flutist, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque will exude girl power with their Afro-Cuban melodies.  Bunnett and Maqueque’s fresh, inventive, no-compromise music earned the group a standing ovation at the Kennedy Center, a rare encore at the Chicago Jazz Festival, and four sold-out nights at Chicago’s legendary Jazz Showcase. 

Savannah Jazz Fest’s lineup also includes six-time Emmy winning composer and keyboardist extraordinaire Peter Fish delivering tight, funky jazz.  Up-and-coming blues guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will perform delta and electric blues, and Eric Gales, hailed as a child prodigy who has performed with artists like Lauren Hill, Carlos Santana and Three 6 Mafia, will light up the night with his blues-rock electric guitar. 

Other artists slated to perform include Latin People Time Salsa Band, which will play at the Stage on Bay for a night of dancing to Latin Jazz and Salsa.  Robin Sherman, Brian Miller, and the Ben Tucker Alumni Band. Regional greats including Teddy Adams, Howard Paul, Jody Espina, and Quentin Baxter will make appearances alongside festival’s acts.

A special treat this year on the traditional Monday evening movie night features Clint Eastwood presents: Johnny Mercer, The Dream’s on Me with an opening performance by The Johnny Mercer Tribute Band at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s historic Lucas Theater.

The Parris Island Marine Band will feature great military performances.  Talented students from regional schools and universities such as Georgia Southern University, Armstrong State University, Savannah Arts Academy and Savannah Country Day are also scheduled to perform.

Traditional late-night jam sessions on three nights carry on the tradition of after-hours experiences when musicians engage in freestyle jazz. 

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