Savannah Music Festival goes virtual to connect global artists with audience

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The annual Savannah Music Festival has been canceled, among many other events due to the spread of COVID-19.

But festival organizers still wanted to find a way to connect the artists with the audience. So they created SMF at Noon30, where acts who were supposed to play during the festival can showcase their music virtually.

“Obviously, a lot of planning goes into 17 days of music,” Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival Ryan McMaken said. “We’re really trying to make the best of it, though with this SMF at Noon video series.”

Thursday was supposed to be the first day of the festival, but instead, they featured two of the artists on their social media accounts so audience members didn’t have to miss out on live music.

Every day at 12:30 p.m. eastern time from March 26 through April 11, at-home and in-studio video performances by 2020 festival artists from around the world will be posted to the festivals Youtube channel, Facebook and Instagram pages.

“Yesterday, we had Vasen from Sweden and Germán López who’s in the Canary Islands. Two great instrumental acts who were going to be here at the festival,” McMaken said.

Even though they had to cancel the festival, they have already rescheduled a few of the acts for September.

“It’s going to be a lot of variety just like the festival itself,” McMaken said.

Participants include Associate Artistic Director Mike Marshall with Caterina Lichtenberg, a mini-residency by Emmet Cohen (with his trio, with Melissa Aldana, and with Veronica Swift), Chamber Music Artistic Advisor Philip Dukes, Germán López, Amythyst Kiah, Steve Riley,
Marta Pereira da Costa, Martin Hayes, members of the Dover and Escher Quartets, Balsam Range, Associate Artistic Director Marcus Roberts, Allison de Groot, Drew Petersen, Bridget Kibbey, and many others.

Channels to support each artist directly will be posted along with their videos. Each artist will receive a stipend for their time.

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