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Coastal Jazz Association Aims to Produce Most Popular Free Jazz Festivals Ever


2018 marks the 37th Annual Savannah Jazz Festival, the Lowcountry’s only entirely free week-long music festival featuring regional, national and international world-class jazz.

Major investment provided by the City of Savannah Department of Arts, Culture and Historical Resources, and sponsored by Savannah Area Ford Dealerships, Miner Family Wines, The Marymor Family Foundation and others. The festival takes place in venues around Savannah culminating with three days in Savannah’s historic Forsyth Park September 23 – 29.

Coastal Jazz Association President and CEO of Benedetto Guitars, the premier maker of jazz guitars, made in Savannah, Howard Paul says, “There is no greater community arts event in town than the Savannah Jazz Festival. We do not charge for tickets to any events for a whole week of great jazz music. This is in the true spirit of jazz music; it is America’s unique art form that unifies all races and cultures. Savannah’s long history in jazz music from hosting Duke Ellington to being the home of Johnny Mercer and Ben Tucker puts the Savannah Jazz Festival on the map of being a tradition that should carry on forever.”

This year’s featured venues will include Mansion on Forsyth Park, Lucas Theatre, The Stage on Bay, De Soto Hotel, Rancho Alegre, and Forsyth Park. Performers scheduled for this year include the best local and regional performers, including Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame members, Teddy Adams, Howard Paul, Jody Espina, Huxsie Scott, and Quentin Baxter who will make appearances alongside festival’s acts. Performances from regional high schools and universities will attract family audiences and great military acts from the Parris Island Marine Band and Fort Benning Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Band will pay tribute to all of our service men and women. Blues night in Forsyth Park will be followed by performances by some of the biggest names in music today!

“We are seeing solid year-over-year growth for this amazing, free festival and anticipate roughly 30,000 attendees this year. Our promotional efforts are now on a national scale and we have forged partnerships with other major festivals across the country and in Canada. Our aim is to continue to unite people of all walks of life peacefully through jazz music, improving the quality of life for all who attend and for the long-term benefit of life in Savannah,” explains Coastal Jazz Association Interim Executive Director, Paula Fogarty.

Extra efforts are being made to reach out to diverse audiences including underserved African-Americans, Hispanics, and Women. Fogarty says, “This year is really ambitiously diverse. We have really great Latin performances that will make everyone get up and dance together, an all-star female performance, great African-American artists, a tribute to a Caucasian legend, and one of the biggest living legends in the music industry!”


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