The South has always been responsible for revolutions of all kinds. The rich and often tragic history of the region gave rise to some of America’s most treasured musical traditions. Every year, music fans from all over the world visit Savannah, Georgia for the Savannah Jazz Festival. Both international and local Jazz and Blues musicians come together to celebrate the music and history of Jazz.
Thanks to the Coastal Jazz Association, the Savannah Jazz Festival is mostly free to the public and all of the events are at local venues, the biggest of which is Forsyth Park. The massive, live oak-lined public park is large enough for crowds to gather in front of the stage or picnic on the lawn. You can even cruise local craft booths and sample dishes and drinks from local restaurants as you jive along to the tunes.
From its beginning, the goal of the Savannah Jazz Festival has been to promote one of the most genuine and original of America’s art forms. Jazz is thought by many to be the national classical music of America. Certainly, jazz is at the root of every modern form of American music. Thanks to the work of the Coastal Jazz Association of Savannah, all generations can either newly discover or rediscover the joy that is jazz.
For the last 28 years, Jazz and Blues musicians from all over the country and right around the corner perform in front of thousands over the week. Artists like James Brown and The Deborah Brown Quartet perform alongside local and regional musicians from across the South. Generations of jazz fans and musicians swarm the festival inviting curious musicians and music lovers alike. It’s hard to resist the sound of a blaring trombone with a steady backbeat.
Any musician can grab an instrument and jam with fellow musicians. These jam sessions are regular events on the festival schedule. It is a rare thing when an amateur musician can pick up his instrument and play in front of thousands of music lovers with jazz legends and local heroes. The Savannah Jazz Festival is always an unforgettable experience.
Along with the musicians, local restaurants and businesses join the week-long celebration. The crowds can sample some of Savannah’s best food and drink while moving to the music. The Blowin’Smoke BBQ sponsors several Savannah Jazz Festival events. Spend the perfect balmy summer evening under the stars with tasty BBQ and tasty jazz. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Believe it or not there is yet more to love than the good music and food. In 2011, the Psychotronic Film Society and the Concord Music group co-sponsored a film that was shown at the festival titled The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi. The film highlights the life of the jazz musician and his complete mastery of the piano. The performances and drinks are also sponsored by the Minor Family Vineyards.
Savannah’s open container laws allow you to bring your own fun to the fest! Glass containers aren’t allowed, but there are plenty of options to choose from. Pack your cooler with a few six packs or bring your own box of wine. If you’d prefer a something on tap, beverage stands offer draft beer and wine straight out of the bottle.
In 2011, the Savannah Children’s Jazz Festival started the last day of the events with performances by the Coastal Jazz Association Allstars. The Savannah Jazz Festival always ends on a high note with a bit of nostalgia thrown in for fun. Another year and another week always bring new generations to share in and appreciate the great American original music that is jazz and blues.
Music lovers of all types and ages can find their reflection in Jazz. The Savannah Jazz Festival is the perfect place to learn more about the history of our country’s rich musical legacy. Between the stunning performances and jams sessions, you might become inspired to strum out a lick of your own!
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