THE AVETT BROTHERS
The Avett Brothers just can't get enough of Savannah.
The North Carolina folk rockers are bringing their talents back to the Hostess City on March 21 and 22 for two nights of enthusiastic sets.
In 2001, banjoist Scott Avett and guitarist Seth Avett formed The Avett Brothers with standup bass player Bob Crawford. Growing up in Concord, N.C., the boys immersed themselves in their musician dad's record collection, falling in love with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Since then, they've become genre stalwarts over the course of six albums and have toured across the globe
After their release of their eighth album, "Magpie and the Dandelion," the Avetts have been making appearances on talk shows and at festivals across the country.
This marks the second time the Avetts have played SMF. This time around, music festival organizers, due to popular demand, booked the always-popular Avetts for back-to-back nights.
Southern singer/songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell rolls into Savannah after a smoking hot successful year with the release of his third solo album, "Southeastern." His emotionally honest lyrics earned him high praise as "Southeastern" was named top album of 2013 by American Songwriters and earned him the No. 1 male vocalist honor by Nashville Scene's 14th annual Country Music Critics' Poll. NPR's Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker named Isbell's breakout album his favorite album of 2013.
The Alabama native, known for his work with Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers, blends a soulful voice with lyrical storytelling tunes to deliver a blend of blues, folk and country music. His genre-mixing style earned praise from Rolling Stone, which cited his recent album as "one of the year's best in any genre."
Isbell will perform at 7 p.m. March 23 at Ships of the Sea. Tickets are $30 for ages 21 and older.
PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from Preservation Hall, which is located in New Orleans' French Quarter. Known for performing traditional New Orleans-style jazz, the band was formed in the early 1960s to preserve the music and the legacy of its musicians.
Members have varied throughout the year. In addition to touring around the world about 150 days a year, the band performs at its New Orleans home base at 726 St. Peter St.
When Preservation Hall was founded, New Orleans jazz had diminished in popularity, putting many musicians out of work. Historian Bill Russell began the jazz revival by documenting and recording the musicians and their work.
Preservation Hall was transformed into a venue for performances in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. It featured pioneering jazz performers such as George Lewis and "Sweet" Emma Barrett.
At that time, New Orleans was racially segregated community under Jim Crow laws. Preservation Hall was one of a few venues in New Orleans where whites and blacks alike were welcomed.
The Preservation Hall Jazz B and was formed in 1963 to tour and spark interest. Fifty-one years later, it's still going strong.
In Savannah, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will present four concerts at 6 and 8:30 p.m. March 20 and 21 at the Charles H. Morris Center. Unfortunately, all four have already sold out.
LADIES SING THE BLUES
Ladies Sing the Blues is a three-day production featuring special performances from award-winning vocalists Catherine Russell and Charenee Wade. They will channel the vocal styles of 1920s blues icons Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey and Ethel Waters. The program will feature 1920s-era arrangements under the direction of pianist Mark Shane and an all-star band.
Wade was first runner-up at the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition and is a singer, composer, arranger and educator. She received a degree from the Manhattan School of Music and teaches at the Aaron Copland School of Music, City College and with Jazzmobile Workshop.
Russell is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is known for her performances at jazz festivals worldwide. In 2012, her cover of the 1920s song "Crazy Blues" was featured on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and was included in the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack.
The concerts will be at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 24-26 at the Morris Center. Tickets are $40.
Russell and Wade will also present a free pre-concert talk at 4 p.m. March 25 at the Morris Center.
Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught will make her SMF debut March 25.
A member of the Bayerische Staatsoper, she won widespread acclaim in 2011, jumping in for an ailing colleague on five days' notice to perform Romeo in a new production of Bellini's "I Capuleti e i Montecchi."
A native of Dundalk, Ireland, Erraught graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin and has been a member of the opera studio at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich since 2008.
She has won many awards, including the Houston Grand Opera Prize and the Washington National Opera Prize at the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna. Last year, she was honored by the Bavarian government for outstanding contribution to the arts.
Her 2013-14 season brings a world premiere, three role debuts and a second U.S. tour, among other plans. She will perform at 6 p.m. March 25 at Trinity United Methodist Church. Tickets are $45 at savannahmusicfestival.org.
British violinist Daniel Hope may be the associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival, but that doesn't mean he keeps himself locked up in an office.
Rather, Hope can be found making music nearly every day of the festival, performing solo and side-by-side with some of the festival's most renowned guests. He is one of the guiding figures behind programming for the Savannah Music Festival, too, and is largely responsible for programming its chamber music concerts.
Hope's tenure began in 2003, when festival director Rob Gibson asked him to curate a chamber music series within the festival. He performed at the festival for the first time in 2004 and has been back every year since.
He was only 4 when Hope told his parents he was going to be a violinist. Born in South Africa, today he makes his home in Vienna, Austria.