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Savannah Jazz Festival goes ‘Savannah Safe’

This year’s event will lean heavily on live broadcasts

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JAZZ FANS, rejoice! Savannah Jazz Festival announced recently its first ever Savannah Safe Jazz Festival, which will be held from September 23-27.

Amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, it has remained unclear as to what major festivals like Savannah Jazz would do going forward. The Savannah Safe festival gives an answer to that uncertainty—shows will take place at Ships of the Sea Museum during the aforementioned dates; completely outdoors but covered, with controlled access and limited seating.

Scene from a previous year’s Jazzfest.
  • Scene from a previous year’s Jazzfest.

Those shows, however, will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube and be broadcast on WSAV-TV and Dick Broadcasting Radio stations. Watch parties will take place at various locations if deemed safe enough, and those at home are encouraged to hold contained watch parties as well.

“The City of Savannah is proud to support the 39th annual Savannah Jazz Festival. In a year with circumstances that no one saw coming, the arts are more important than ever to raise our spirits and build a sense of community. We applaud the efforts of Savannah Jazz to keep the music playing and look forward to being a socially-distanced member of this year’s audience,” Stuart Miller, the city’s Director of Cultural Resources, said in a statement.

Between the 23rd and 27th, sixteen live performances will take place with various jazz artists, continuing in the Savannah Jazz Festival tradition of high-caliber jazz from around the world. The lineup has yet to be announced.

“We are beyond thrilled that the City is 100% supportive of our rigorous plan to produce the 39th free Jazz Festival,” interim Executive Director Paula Fogarty said in a press release.

The live audience will be selected through a lottery system that will rotate people from show to show, in order to comply with safety measures and give the Jazz Festival’s devoted audience the chance to see performances in person.

To help support the festival and its continued efforts, SJF is encouraging donations. More info on donations and Savannah Jazz Festival’s 30-year history can be found at savannahjazz.org.

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