2020 has been a tough year for musicians and music lovers.
Savannah Stopover Music Festival slipped in under the wire in the first weekend of March, but the St. Patrick’s festivities were canceled the following week.
Then came the devastating news about the Savannah Music Festival.
The loss of gigs has been a major setback for many musicians, and live music lovers have primarily had to get their fixes through virtual performances with only occasional opportunities to experience shows in person.
As we turn the corner from summer to fall, it looks like we will have more chances for live performances, even if the vibe is markedly different than a mere six months ago.
The Savannah Jazz Festival from Sept. 23 to 27 will be streamed from the North Garden of the Ships of the Sea Museum, but there will be a very limited number of seats available for each night. Jazz lovers can enter a raffle on the SJF website to win a pair of tickets for one evening.
As I write this column, only a few dozen folks have entered the raffle, so the odds of winning are pretty good so far. Entries will be accepted through mid-September.
The 16 Savannah Jazz Festival sets will be live streamed by WSAV and Dick Broadcasting radio stations.
The SJF lineup includes Wycliffe Gordon, Pat Bianchi Trio, and Buckwheat Zydeco, Jr. and Ils Sont Partis Band. Some of the city’s best jazz musicians will play in various combinations, and the traditional blues night will feature Willie Jackson and the Tybee Blues Band as the opener, with Savannah’s own Eric Culberson Band with special guest Dolette McDonald closing out the night.
Live music will be returning to the Collins Quarter at Forsyth with Laiken Love & Fellowship of Love from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 6.
I caught some of the band’s performance on the café’s patio in early July. Love’s resounding voice filled the north end of Forsyth Park as about 100 people listened, safely distanced under the trees. Given the summer heat, it made sense to take a break from those Sunday afternoon shows, but I hope that more gigs will be scheduled for that great space this fall.
Quarantine Concerts, which continues to set a high bar for streaming concerts, has several excellent acts booked for the next few weeks.
Waits & Co. will take the stage at the Tybee Post Theater at 8 p.m, Aug. 29. Singer-songwriter Jon Waits recently moved back to Savannah, and I’m excited to see the band in this high-profile gig. The requested viewer contribution levels begin at $10.
Quarantine Concerts will also produce and stream sets from two other talented Savannah-based bands in the first half of September.
Danielle Hicks and the Resistance will take the stage at 8 p.m., Sept. 4, and Clouds & Satellites will perform at 8 p.m., Sept. 12.
We appear to be months away from seeing the types of live shows that we love, so it’s critical right now for us to support the musicians who are keeping the local scene alive.
Keep checking here at Do for updated listings.
Bill Dawers writes the City Talk column for the Savannah Morning News.