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Review: 2017 Savannah Music Festival

Trumpet and organ summits top jazz week

Marcus Roberts, Randall Haywood, Corey Wilcox, Rodney Whitaker and Stephen Riley (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Marcus Roberts, Randall Haywood, Corey Wilcox, Rodney Whitaker and Stephen Riley (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Ron Westray takes a solo (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Ron Westray takes a solo (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Rodney Whitaker, Rodney Jordan and Jason Marsalis (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Rodney Whitaker, Rodney Jordan and Jason Marsalis (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Marcus Roberts (at photo left edge), Ricardo Pascal, Terell Stafford, Rodney Whitaker and David L. Harris (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Marcus Roberts (at photo left edge), Ricardo Pascal, Terell Stafford, Rodney Whitaker and David L. Harris (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Marcus Printup takes a solo (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)
Marcus Printup takes a solo (photo by Perry Tannenbaum)

Jazz is always prominent when the Savannah Music Festival cranks up its eclectic assortment, with diehard jazz fans dropping anchor during Jazz Week, culminating in the epic Swing Central Finale concert at Lucas Theatre of the Arts. Three high-school big bands perform, finalists of the Swing Central workshops and competition, followed by a concert where the mentoring musicians strut their stuff. This year those mentors included Marcus Roberts, Ted Nash, Terell Stafford, Jason Marsalis and Marcus Printup.

Celebrating the centenaries of both Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie, Swing Central 2017 was particularly splendid.

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