JodyJazz Sponsors 2017 Savannah Jazz Festival
Taking place every September, the Savannah Jazz festival is one of the most popular events of the Savannah Music Scene, regularly attracting an audience of thousands who flock to the festival for its great variety of music, scenic locations and stellar performances. The week-long festival is set in various venues throughout the city and culminates with three nights in historic Forsyth Park where the beautiful Savannah weather invariable provides for a memorable time watching and listening to the stars, under the stars. Now in its 36th year, the 2017 Festival featured an engaging mix of major international superstars, local legends, rising talent and the top regional college Jazz ensembles. With particularly spectacular weather gracing the outdoor concerts, this year's festival was one of the most successful and well attended yet.
Located in Savannah, GA, JodyJazz Inc is a world leader in the manufacture of Saxophone mouthpieces. JodyJazz Inc provided major support and sponsorship for the 2017 Savannah Jazz Festival. JodyJazz founder and President, and acclaimed saxophone player, Jody Espina was also a major participant and frequent musical contributor to the event performing on several nights of the festival.
The Monday of the festival featured the Premiere of the recently completed film documentary on the legendary bass-player, singer, composer and entrepreneur Ben Tucker. Tragically killed in a freak automobile accident in 2013, Ben Tucker was one of Savannah's most adored and revered residents. A close friend and mentor, Jody Espina was honored to play in the Ben Tucker Tribute band which performed prior to the screening.
By Friday the festival had moved to the outdoor stage at Forsyth park and featured a rousing set from top "sax player to the stars and JodyJazz Artist Andy Snitzer and his group, sponsored by JodyJazz. Andy invited Espina to sit in on a couple of tunes, and with Andy on Tenor and Jody on Alto the two not only had a lot of fun together on stage, but also made some seriously good music together. Playing a mixture of Andy's own compositions and R&B classics like Rufus & Chaka Khan's 'Tell Me Something Good', Andy and his group soon got the audience up off its feet.
Friday night's headliner was the legendary jazz singer, former Count Basie Band member and Grammy Award winner Carmen Bradford who performed with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra. Featuring the cream of Savannah and the low country area's Jazz musicians, the Savannah Jazz Orchestra performed impeccably behind the acclaimed singer. Featured on several songs, Espina's Alto solos received standing ovations from the ecstatic crowd.
Espina again played double-duty on the Saturday night performing first with the Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame Band and then with his new group 'The Presidents' that he co-leads with Howard Paul of Benedetto Guitars. Featuring Mark Peterson on acoustic bass and Karl Latham on drums, the group was joined on stage by drum and percussion virtuoso Andrés Forero who also guests on the recording. The band grow more assured with every performance and their unique and inspired interpretations of jazz standards such “Caravan” and “The Girl from Ipanema” (dubbed “The Woman from Ipanema” by the band) earned them raucous applause from the excited capacity crowd.
Breaking all records for audience attendance the 2017 Savannah Jazz Festival was a resounding success. JodyJazz looks forward to supporting the festival again in 2018.