Top Picks for Savannah Music Festival

Here is are our music editors TOP 5 List for the best performance at this year's Savannah Music Festival on March 19th to April 4th. Over the past few years this festival has become a premier music event in the southeastern United States. The quality and diversity of music at SMF is always impressive, so this subjective list is all about personal taste. Be sure to review the full concert list to see if your favorite band is coming to Savannah.  More Info can be found here >>>

Irma Thomas/Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time: 8:30 PM

Venue:Ships of the Sea North Garden

Internationally heralded as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans" singer Irma Thomas had her first hit single "You Can Have My Husband, But Don't Mess with My Man" (1960) when she was just 19 years old. With a career spanning six decades, Thomas is a Louisiana Music Hall of Famer and GRAMMY Award winning artist. Growing up listening to Mahalia Jackson and Pearl Bailey, Thomas developed a rich vocal style with an awareness of what it means to be a true entertainer. She remains one of America's most distinctive singers, a treasure from the golden age of soul music whose performances are as compelling and powerful as ever. -

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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with Lynn Harrell

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Lucas Theatre for the Arts

If you ever wanted to see the ASO without having to go to do Atlanta then this is a great opporunity to do so...

In their tenth consecutive SMF appearance, the world-renowned Atlanta Symphony Orchestra brings a powerful program of symphonic masterworks. Music sometimes expresses feelings better than words. Dvorák's Cello Concerto captures all of the grandeur of a big symphonic concerto and conveys the composer's grief at the loss of his sister-in-law, Josefina, with whom he was deeply in love (in spite of being married to her sister). Tchaikovsky once wrote, "an artist lives a double life: an everyday human life and an artistic life, and the two do not always go hand in hand." His Fourth Symphony is a clear expression of that struggle to find his artistic voice, and it remains one of the most frequently performed symphonies of the late 19th century, while also ranking as one of Tchaikovsky's finest. - See more at

The Brazilian Soul: Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso/Clarice Assad/Off the Cliff -

Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Lucas Theatre for the Arts

Choro, the instrumental popular Brazilian music that originated in 19th century Rio, which will be showcased on this evening by the group Choro Famoso, featuring mandolinist Mike Marshall, clarinetist Andy Connell, 7-string guitarist Colin Walker and percussionist and pandeiro player Brian Rice. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Clarice Assad was born into one of Brazil's most famous musical families (she is the daughter of Sergio Assad, one of today's preeminent guitarists and composers), and has performed professionally since the age of seven. Versatile, sophisticated and accomplished, Clarice Assad is a sought after symphonic composer, arranger, producer, jazz pianist and vocalist of musical depth and ability. Off The Cliff is Assad's group that mixes Brazilian music with other styles - See more at: 

Buckwheat Zydeco

Date: Friday, March 20, 2015

Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Charles H. Morris Center

After recently attending Buckwheat's show at Cox Capital Theater in Macon, Ga., I have become a real fan of his live performances (read more here). Taking a trip down to Savannah to see him at the SMF would be high on my list of things to do.

As the leading torchbearer of the classic sound of the late King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco has performed for over three decades. After spending two years as organist in Chenier's Red Hot Louisiana Band in the late 70s, Buckwheat took up the accordion, and within a year, he started his own band. He then became the first zydeco artist signed to a major label, and went on to play with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder and Willie Nelson, among others. On a mission to bring the unique sound of zydeco into the musical mainstream, Buckwheat Zydeco combines traditional Creole tunes with blues and R&B in "one of the best bands in America... a downhome, high-powered celebration," says The New York Times. - See more at: 

Lucinda Williams

Date: Friday, March 27, 2015

Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Trustees Theater

American rock, folk, blues and country music singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is one of a kind. She has been maneuvering down a musical path all her own for more than three decades since emerging from Lake Charles, Louisiana, a town with rich traditions of indigenous American music. Several years of playing the hardscrabble clubs of her adopted state of Texas gave her a solid enough footing to record a self-titled album that would become a touchstone for the Americana movement--helping launch a thousand musical ships along the way. More than 30 years later, after having been named "America's best songwriter" by TIME Magazine in 2002, Williams' distinctive delta-infused country soul sound is as strong as ever. Though her songs offer poetry filled with pain and longing, Williams says, "People misunderstand me and think I'm this depressed person, and I'm not. At the end of the day, I'm an optimist." - See more at: 

Giants of Texas Swing: Hot Club of Cowtown/Asleep at the Wheel

Date: Monday, March 30, 2015

Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Charles H. Morris Center

Hot Club of Cowtown's influences have always been as much the musette music of the smoky bistros of 1930s Paris as they are the hoedowns and Western swing of the mythic American West. Praised for their "down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation" (The Times of London), the Hot Club has set up camp "at that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away" (The Independent), and "conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time" (The New York Times).

Asleep at the Wheel has seen miles and miles of Texas. They got their kicks on Route 66, and in 2010, the band clicked another milestone on the odometer--their 40th anniversary. Altogether, they have won nine Grammy Awards since their 1970 inception. In their career, they have released more than twenty studio albums, and have charted more than twenty singles on the Billboard country charts. The band continues to introduce the western swing genre to new generations of listeners. Taking a page from Bob Wills' book, the band has constantly toured at a national level throughout its history, with anywhere from 7 to 15 of the finest players that founder Ray Benson could talk into jumping on the bus to play a string of dates. See More Here