The Savannah Music Festival runs from March 23-April 8. Order tickets at savannahmusicfestival.org.
Lafayette Late Night Jam: Arrete Pas La Musique!
11 p.m. March 24 at B. Matthew’s Eatery
Don’t stop the music! The Lafayette Late Night Jam promises to keep the music rolling after the kids have gone to bed with Cajun music king Joel Savoy. Born with thick Cajun roots in the heart of Louisiana, Savoy is a world-renowned multi-instrumentalist and producer who’s spent his life as an ambassador for his home state’s unique music. The son of famed accordion builder Marc Savoy, he’s played with the Savoy Family Band and Red Stick Ramblers. He also founded the Cajun Americana record label Valcour Records. Savoy will lead an informal jam that promises to keep you dancing deep into the night.
Haitian Roots: Chouk Bwa Libète and Leyla McCalla
7 p.m. March 27 at Charles H. Morris Center
In one of the festival’s most unique concerts, the Haitian roots group Chouk Bwa Libète will make their U.S. debut at the 2017 Savannah Music Festival. Steeped in the rich traditions of Haitian voodoo, Chouk Bwa Libète conjures the soul of West African call and response musical traditions, filtered through the easy Caribbean vibes of the first sovereign nation of Latin America and the Caribbean. This performance is a must-see for anyone whose interest is piqued by musical styles with heavy rhythmic bases and soul-soothing melodies. The second portion of this spectacular bill features Haitian American cellist Leyla McCalla.
Jazz Organ Summit: Joey DeFrancesco and Ike Stubblefield
5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. March 29 at Charles H. Morris Center
There are few musical instruments as distinctive in sound as a Hammond B3 organ. Savannah Music Festival will bring together two titans of the instrument. Joey DeFrancesco signed a major label deal at the age of 16 in the 1980s. His talent caught the ear of Miles Davis and a host of other great jazz musicians. Ike Stubblefield began in the Motown Review with some of the greatest artists of that time, including The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Al Green. For jazz fans interested in seeing some of the greatest organists to ever play, this is your show.
6 p.m. March 29 at Trinity United Methodist Church
Prodigy is an easy word to use, but it works well when describing Jan Lisiecki. The Polish descended, Canadian-born virtuoso made his orchestral debut at age 9. At 21, he’s played with nigh every major symphony in the world. He’s won several awards and championed a notion that classical music does not solely belong to an older generation. Behind an enthusiastic and youthful approach to 100-plus-year-old music, Lisiecki delivers a fresh and exciting, not to mention beyond exceptional, approach to classic compositions. His program at the Savannah Music Festival will include Bach, Schumann, Chopin and Schubert, and, simply, should not be missed.
8:30 p.m. March 30 at Ships of the Sea
Patrick Watson is an eponymous band created by Watson. With a bedrock in classical styles of composition, Watson’s music emerges as indie-pop that broaches traditional orchestral themes with a modern sensibility. The Montreal, Canada, native won the 2007 Polaris Music Prize, an annual Canadian music award that is granted on the basis of merit and record sales. Watson’s music has appeared in television shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Walking Dead,” and in movies “One Week,” “The High Cost of Living” and “Mommy is at the Hairdresser’s.” If you enjoy pop music rooted in classical stylings that is beautiful and daring, Watson would be a great addition to your schedule.