Every year regular attendees rave about the Savannah Music Festival‘s Stringband Spectacular — it’s a culmination of the festival’s Acoustic Music Seminar — but the show still hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. The problems might be that the performers are all really young and aren’t big names (yet), that the show happens on the busy final weekend of the festival, and that educational initiatives like the AMS can sound, well, boring.
But there is nothing dull about the AMS’ official description: “Sixteen of the world’s most talented young string players, all under the age of 22, travel to Savannah for a week of hands-on instruction in playing, songwriting, and ensemble work during this groundbreaking mentorship program, led by acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Mike Marshall.”
So here’s Josh Turner — who runs an incredibly popular YouTube channel and seems to be able to play any kind of music that he wants — leading other AMS attendees in Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” on the Lucas Theatre stage.
The entire performance is like this — with individual students leading ensemble performances with other amazingly talented students. It moves at a really quick pace too, since all the AMS musicians stay on stage throughout the show.
While he was in town, Turner also filmed this original composition “Mona” by banjo player Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose:
If you’re an SMF supporter or just love great acoustic music, you might want to check out the 2016 Stringband Spectacular, if you’re anywhere near Savannah.