Do Savannnah

Annual Levy Memorial Concert to feature Savannah VOICE Festival singers and Velvet Caravan

  • Velvet Caravan
  • Rebecca Patrick Flaherty

Annual Levy Memorial Concert to feature Savannah VOICE Festival singers and Velvet Caravan

18 May 2016

The 28th annual Jack Malitz & Miriam Slotin Levy Memorial Concert is set for May 22 at the Jewish Educational Alliance. For the second year in a row, it will feature artists from the Savannah VOICE Festival performing with Velvet Caravan in a free concert that is open to the public.

“We’re so grateful the Levy family has asked us to do this for year two,” Savannah VOICE Festival co-founder Maria Zouves says. “And we’re so grateful we get to do it with Velvet Caravan.

“The concert was a huge success last year, with the audience on its feet. We’ll have all-new music this year.

“It’s going to be a celebration, a very energetic program,” she says. “Dan Gettinger will be at the helm again. He’s become a Savannah favorite for sure, because he makes every instrument he plays steam.”

Among the singers who are returning for the concert is local favorite Rebecca Patrick Flaherty.

“We’re doing pieces from Broadway, which is basically everybody who has composed for Broadway,” she says. “We’re doing songs from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and other musicals.

“That’s the main focus. There are a lot of recognizable things.

“The cool thing is Velvet Caravan is playing with us,” Flaherty says. “I’m excited to see that collaboration and expect they’ll give it a gypsy jazz Broadway treatment.”

Gettinger is a “phenomenal pianist and keyboard player,” Flaherty says.

“He’s worked in television, on Broadway and done opera,” she says. “We have the same team as last year.

“When you have Velvet Caravan and then singers from the VOICE Fest, you can’t go wrong,” Flaherty says. “Everybody is professional and really knows how to deliver a good show.”

It was Flaherty who first approached Zouves and her husband, VOICE co-founder Sherrill Milnes, about establishing a voice program in Savannah.

“In February 2010, I went to their training program in New York,” Flaherty says. “There were only 10 students, so we got to really sit and know Sherrill and Maria.

“There was a huge snowstorm. At a meal one night, I said, ‘If you ever want to come to a place with a real need and no snowstorms, why not come to Savannah?’

“Now we have artists who are loving Savannah and are spending more and more time here,” Flaherty says. “We’ve had an opera written about Savannah. It feels like they’ve put us on an operatic map, with people starting to look at Savannah as a place to come where they know they’ll be well received.”

Flaherty says the result has surpassed her original dream.

“I could never have predicted that my questioning and trying to collaborate and pull people together could have expanded into the Savannah VOICE Festival,” Flaherty says. “I never thought it would become this large of a scale.”

It has been thrilling to watch it all unfold, Flaherty says.

“It’s something that’s here to stay. It has left a mark on the place where we live,” Flaherty says. “It’s becoming part of Savannah and the fabric of the community.”



What: 28th annual Jack Malitz & Miriam Slotin Levy Memorial Concert

When: 2 p.m. May 22

Where: Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St.

Cost: Free

Info: 912-355-8111