2013 Savannah Jazz Festival features strong lineup, honors Ben Tucker

The 32nd annual Savannah Jazz Festival begins on Sunday, Sept. 22 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 28.

The joyous celebration of jazz (with some blues too) will be tempered to some degree this year by remembrances and honors for Ben Tucker, the legendary Savannah bassist and all around good guy who died tragically in June.

Ben was 82, but he could have easily passed for a decade younger – maybe even two. He had a lot of life and art and music and love still ahead of him.

His funeral turned into a huge News Orleans-style second line celebration. I posted many photographs of the procession on Savannah Unplugged.


A few tips about enjoying the Savannah Jazz Festival:

  • Don’t forget about the opening night jam session, which is typically one of the highlights of the week even though not all that many people turn out.
  • Blues night is often the most fun time of the three nights in the park, with the smallest crowd.
  • For those gigs in Forsyth, you can almost always sit closer than you think you can. Bring chairs or blankets, food and drink (with plastic cups).

I don’t know quite how well the early week events will work under the tent in the parking lot at Habersham Village, but it’s an interesting choice adjacent to a number of restaurants.

Click here for DoSavannah’s coverage. Click here for a revealing piece about Tom Scott in Connect Savannah. Scott’s incredible resume includes work with Joni Mitchell. Click here for more information about the various acts in the latest Coastal Jazz Association newsletter.

The full schedule is after the jump.

Habersham Village Shops
September 22-23-24-25
61st & Habersham Street

September 22 (sponsored by TailsSpin, Sweet Frog, Portman’s Music & Capital A Productions)

2 P.M. Savannah Country Day School Jazz Ensemble
3 P.M. Savannah Arts Academy SkyeLite Jazz Band
4 P.M. Armstrong Atlantic State University Jazz Ensemble
5 P.M.-8 P.M. Jam Session Kickoff Featuring Teddy Adams & Jazz Allstars

September 23 (Sponsored by Sweet Frog and TailsSpin)

7:30-9:30 P.M. Jazz At The Movies w/Jody Espina & Tricycle (silent film)

September 24 (Sponsored by Sweet Frog and TailsSpin)

6:30-9 P.M. Eric Jones Quartet

September 25 (Sponsored by Sweet Frog and TailsSpin)

6 P.M. Velvet Caravan
7:30 P.M. Bob Masteller & The Jazz Corner Allstars

Forsyth Park
September 26-27-28
Sponsored by the City of Savannah
Main Stage at Gwinnett & Drayton Streets
(Sponsored in part by Capital A Productions)

Blues on the Green
September 26 (Thursday)

6-6:45 P.M. Savannah State University Gospel Choir
7-8 P.M. Eric Culberson Band
8:15-9:15 P.M. E.G. Kight (Sponsored by Seacrest Partners)
9:30-10:45 P.M. Watermelon Slim & The Workers

Jazz Under the Stars
September 27 (Friday)

6-6:45 P.M. Robin Sherman Quartet
7-8 P.M. University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble featuring Alon Yavnai (Sponsored by Melaver Foundation)
8:15-9:15 P.M. The Greg Lewis Trio (Sponsored by International Paper)
9:30-10:45 Jeremy Davis & The Equinox Orchestra (Sponsored by Tate Law Firm)

Jazzy Picnic in the Park
September 28 (Saturday)

4:30-5:30 P.M. Charleston Latin Jazz Collective
6:45-7:45 P.M. The Savannah/CJA Hall Of Fame
7-8 P.M. Doug & Jean Carn Quartet
8:15-9:15 P.M. The Joey DeFrancisco Trio (Sponsored by Magic Marc/The Magic Puppet)
9:30-10:45 Tom Scott with The Savannah Jazz Orchestra (Sponsored by Miner Family Winery & JodyJazz Saxophone & Clarinet Mouthpieces)

Late Night Jam Sessions Sept 26-27-28 at 11:00 p.m.
Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant
402 MLK Jr. Blvd