The 17-day Savannah Music Festival is so good from year to year that it’s easy to get complacent about the stellar lineups and uniformly excellent production values.
Still, depending on your musical tastes, some years really do end up being more exciting than others, and there are tons of shows that I’m excited about for 2017 (March 23rd to April 8th). And keep in mind that there will almost certainly be some additional pop and rock shows added at a later date.
For starters, the SMF is making another foray into dance in 2017. We don’t get enough dance here in Savannah, so BalletCollective‘s performance of What Comes Next is especially exciting. I don’t know much about the Argentinian dance ensemble Che Malambo, but I’ll almost certainly be buying tickets to that one too.
As they did a few years ago for the SMF, The Avett Brothers will do two performances at the Johnny Mercer Theatre. Not our favorite venue (understatement), but the Avetts put on a heck of a show.
Jason Isbell will also be back in town — his most recent Savannah shows at the SMF and the Lucas were sublime — and the SMF once again has some spectacular double bills.
One of the more intriguing performances during the 17-day event is surely going to be the return of the Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha — they’re mesmerizing — playing an original score for the 1930 Dovzhenko silent film, Earth.
Jazz fans will be no doubt be excited for a star-studded performance — with Marcus Roberts, Terell Stafford, Jason Marsalis, and Ron Westray — celebrating the 100th birthdays of Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. There are plenty of other jazz offerings. of course, and under the guidance of festival director Rob Gibson and associate director Daniel Hope, the classical programming is as strong as usual.
World music offerings include Sufi vocal warrior Sanam Marvi from Pakistan and a double bill with Haitian-American cellist/singer Leyla McCalla (formerly with the Carolina Chocolate Drops) and the Haitian vodou drum and dance ensemble Chouk Bwa Libète.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on 11/11.
How about a classic from Richard Thompson to close out the post: