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The Savannah Music Festival Takes to the Internet

Although the live event in Georgia was canceled due to the coronavirus, the online version is now underway

Marcus Roberts at the Village Vanguard, New York, Nov. 13, 2018
Marcus Roberts at the Village Vanguard, New York, Nov. 13, 2018 (photo: Alan Nahigian)

The 2020 Savannah Music Festival (SMF) launched on March 26 at 12:30 p.m. EDT, as scheduled—but online.

At the precise date and time that the 2020 festival was originally scheduled to begin (before coronavirus derailed it), SMF launched its alternative online program, SMF at Noon30 Concert Series. The program will run from March 26 to April 11—the same dates that the festival had been scheduled for—featuring webcasts of short live performances by artists that had been booked to appear at SMF.

The concert series streams each day on the SMF YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

The first day of the SMF at Noon30 concerts featured Spanish guitarist and timple player Germán López and Swedish folk band Väsen. The second day will include performances by Tennessee-based Americana singer/songwriter Amythyst Kiah and British classical violist Philip Dukes.

Forthcoming performances will feature Cajun accordionist Steve Riley; Portuguese guitarist Marta Pereira da Costa; Irish fiddler Martin Hayes; members of the classical Dover and Escher String Quartets; North Carolina bluegrass band Balsam Range; Canadian folk banjoist Allison de Groot; chamber pianist Drew Petersen; harpist Bridget Kibbey; a mini-residency by jazz pianist Emmet Cohen and his trio (featuring saxophonist Melissa Aldana); and the Savannah Music Festival’s associate artistic directors Mike Marshall (bluegrass mandolin) and Marcus Roberts (jazz piano).

Artists will broadcast either out of their homes or from a studio. Channels to support each artist directly will be posted along with their videos, and each artist will receive a stipend for their time.