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Review: The Savannah Music Festival 2015

Horns meet mallets for a new kind of showdown

Dave Stryker, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Houston Person and Warren Vache, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Jason Marsalis, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Marcus Roberts, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Marcus Roberts Trio, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Nicki Parrott, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Sean Jones, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Tardo Hammer, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Warren Vache Quintet, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Warren Wolf, Savannah Music Festival 2015
Wycliffe Gordon, Savannah Music Festival 2015

As associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival, Marcus Roberts is a formidable triple threat: he helps to produce a strong series of jazz concerts year after year, he teaches and mentors in the festival’s Swing Central Jazz workshop, and he performs in various settings, reaffirming his standing as one of the most prodigious pianists on the planet. During the 2015 edition of SMF, Roberts and members of his longtime working trio were more at the forefront of the programming.

Percussionist Jason Marsalis has been a core member of the trio for nearly 20 years. So it’s not surprising the Marsalis has become a festival fixture, schooling ticketholders on percussion at a Sound Dialogue event in 2012 and taking on musical director chores for the all-star concert at the Swing Central Jazz Finale in 2014. But until this year, Marsalis had never played the vibraphone in Savannah, although he had recorded three CDs with his Vibes Quartet in the past six years.

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