Airs Thursday, March 6 at 8 p.m. When you survey the history of the piano in 20th century American music, there are several individuals, composers and standards, particularly within jazz and popular songs. Performing a recital that traverses these figures and movements, while ensuring that your renditions remain original, is quite a challenge. In the spring of 2013, pianist Marcus Roberts played a concert at our festival that surveyed a broad cross section of 20th century American music. While he's been featured in a variety of musical contexts at our festival over the past decade, Marcus played a 75-minute recital that included distinctive interpretations of works by Scott Joplin, W.C. Handy, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington as well as some original works and gospel pieces. Tune in to hear highlights from this 2013 SMF concert by the inimitable Marcus Roberts.
Airs Thursday, January 30 at 8 p.m. When new styles of American music began to emerge at the end of the 19th century, the primary instrument at the center of these creations was the piano. Virtuosos such as ragtime stylist Scott Joplin created works like the "Maple Leaf Rag" that would sell over a million copies of sheet music alone. The first two decades of the 20th century would see jazz and blues compositions crafted by Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy and Duke Ellington, and their results were the shape of American music to come.
Airs Thursday, January 23 at 8 p.m. The piano has been an integral part of the jazz idiom since its inception. Due to its combined melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities, it has been the one instrument that allowed the greatest jazz players to use their creativity to address all of these elements of musical style simultaneously. This episode of SMF Live features the first half of Piano Showdown 2010, with New Orleans powerhouse Henry Butler, the encyclopedic Dick Hyman, the virtuosic Marcus Roberts and one of the most talented players of the younger generation, 25 year-old Gerald Clayton.
Airs Thursday, August 1 at 8 p.m. This week on the Savannah Music Festival, jazz virtuosos Marcus Roberts, Wycliffe Gordon, John Fadis, Jason Marsallis, Shawn Jones, and Jeff Clayton take the stage for some of the finest solo performances. They say the best improvised jazz sounds composed and the best composed music sounds improvised. These artists take the concept to the extreme. This concert is from the 2012 festival.
Airs Thursday, April 4 at 8 p.m. Duke Ellington is widely regarded as one of the most important composers in the history of music and his orchestra of the mid 1930's was at the beginning of its creative peak, featuring some of the finest jazz soloists in the history of the music. During the years of 1936 - 40 a series of small group sessions led by Ellington with his key sidemen, were recorded for a variety of different labels and they have all stood the test of time.