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Abdullah Ibrahim to Perform at 2020 Spoleto Festival

The NEA Jazzmaster takes the stage June 2 during the 17-day festival

Abdullah Ibrahim (photo by Mark Robbins)
Abdullah Ibrahim (photo by Mark Robbins)

More than 150 performances, including one by 2019 NEA Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim, are set to take place May 22 to June 7 in Charleston, South Carolina when Spoleto Festival USA will present wide-ranging works, both celebratory and reflective, for the 44th season coinciding with Charleston’s 350th anniversary.

For 17 days and nights, a variety of artists fill the city’s theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with wide-ranging performances and concerts. “As Charleston celebrates the 350th anniversary of its founding, the Festival looks to its own place in the city’s rich history,” says the festival’s General Director Nigel Redden.

“There’s no doubt that Spoleto, founded in 1977, contributed to Charleston’s flourishing into its current status as a top destination—by bringing in world-class artists, sparking a thriving arts and culture scene, and helping to revitalize performance spaces that can be used year-round.”

After undergoing significant backstage and structural renovations, the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre will reopen with Spoleto’s landmark world premiere, Omar. Spoleto Festival USA’s co-commissioned the opera, which is based on the autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved Muslim African sold in Charleston in 1807, with music and libretto by MacArthur Fellow Rhiannon Giddens.

Anti-apartheid activist and 2019 NEA Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim will give a special concert as part of Wells Fargo Jazz series on June 2 in the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre. Jazz programming also includes Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a tribute to New Orleans icon Danny Barker (A New Orleans Jazz Celebration), The Cookers, and more.


For more information on the schedule, click here.

Spoleto Festival USA Tickets

Tickets go on sale to the public on Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. EST. Purchase tickets online or by calling 843-579-3100. For contributors to Spoleto Festival USA of $100 or more, a donor pre-sale began January 6. Access is based on contribution level; information about the donor pre-sale and how to donate can be found at

In-person box office operations will be located at Charleston Gaillard Center beginning May 1. Tickets may be purchased Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Festival gift certificates can be purchased in any amount and used towards performance tickets, merchandise such as Festival posters, or charitable contributions to Spoleto Festival USA. To purchase gift certificates, order online at or by phone at 843-579-3100.