SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Six performances marked the fourth day of the Savannah-Safe Jazz Festival.
Although the event looks a bit different this year — with an intimate, socially distanced crowd at Ships Of The Sea Maritime Museum — every performance is being streamed online, allowing more jazz fans to enjoy the shows than ever before.
From the Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame Band to the talented trombonist, Wycliffe Gordon, watch the Spicy Jazz Saturday performances below.
Savannah’s jazz history is as old and important as that of New Orleans, and Savannah Jazz continues to foster this legacy.
Always one of the highlights of the festival, The Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars performance features inductees Teddy Adams, Howard Paul, Huxsie Scott, Delbert Felix and Randall Reese.
Legends in the Hall of Fame include Johnny Mercer, Jabbo Smith, King James Oliver, Ben Riley, Ken Palmer, Irene Reid and Ben Tucker, among many others.
To be considered for induction, members must have some kind of impact on the regional, national and international levels.
Hall of Fame Ceremony
Hall of Fame Band
Jazmin Ghent is an award-winning national smooth jazz and gospel recording artist as well as an accomplished music educator. She was awarded the prestigious 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album, “The Story of Jazz,” and was voted 2017’s Best New Smooth Jazz Artist.
Ghent taught music to students for five years and this year, she was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Haiti to spend seven days presenting music workshops to adults and children.
With four Billboard-topping singles, “Amends”, “Work Wit It”, “Heat”, and “Compared To What” the festival is thrilled to feature her this year.
Ghent has performed all over the world, and according to Art Good of Catalina Island’s JazzTrax radio and festival, “… unknown Jazmin Ghent was one of the BEST FINDS the festival has EVER uncovered. Obviously…she OUTSOLD all 30 stars of smooth jazz in the JazzTrax Store, selling more CDs than anyone. She had stage presence, a show and she could play!”
Jazmin received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and a Master’s Degree from Tennessee State University. According to Euge Groove, “Jazmin brings much needed real deal youth in the genre.”
Buckwheat Zydeco Jr. and the Ils Sont Partis Band
The Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band derived from the Late Great Stanley Dural Jr., also known as Buckwheat Zydeco. This Grammy and Emmy Award-Winning band has performed over 2,500 shows and a host of television appearances (David Letterman,CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, to name a few).
Carrying on his father’s legacy and band, Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr. has taken the lead. Growing up at his father’s side while he played festivals with a host of rock and pop musicians, including Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, U2, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant and Keith Richards, Buckwheat Zydeco, Jr. carried the Louisiana standard of Zydeco music throughout the country.
The Creole cousin of jazz, Zydeco music will have you up dancing in the isles, in your kitchen, in your living room, no matter your age or abilities; it’s family-festive music. Organizers say the festival is thrilled to have this act for the first time.
Emmett Cohen Trio
Emmett Cohen represents the finest in the next generation of jazz artists, honoring the past and innovating for the future. Savannah-Safe Jazz Festival organizers say his trio’s lively and entertaining performances are just what they need for their first appearance at the festival.
Cohen is the winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards and the Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Indianapolis. He placed first in both the 2014 American Jazz Pianists Competition and the 2011 Phillips Piano Competition at the University of West Florida and, as a finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, he was received in the Oval Office by President Obama.
Cohen has appeared in varied international jazz events, including the Newport, Monterey, Detroit, North Sea, Bern, Edinburgh, and Jerusalem jazz festivals, as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. He also performs at top clubs and venues in New York and throughout the world.
In addition to leading the Emmet Cohen Trio, he has appeared regularly with Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath, Houston Person, Kurt Elling, Billy Hart, Brian Lynch and Lea DeLaria, among others. Cohen is also a member of Christian McBride’s trio “Tip City,” the “Herlin Riley Quintet,” and the “Ali Jackson Trio,” and serves as pianist and music director for jazz vocalist Veronica Swift.
Highly-acclaimed interpreter of America’s music, Wycliffe Gordon returns to the Savannah Jazz Festival for the second time to help lift spirits in some of the world’s dimmest days.
Downbeat Critics Poll named Wycliffe “Best Trombone” for four years from 2012 and, once again in 2020. Wycliffe said, “Wow, I’m so grateful and truly blessed. It’s been such a turbulent year, so finally some good news!! I don’t pay much attention to the polls, I just do what I love, and, in the end, it somehow pays off. Everyone’s a winner in my book, we are all just doing our thing and spreading the love around through this great art form called jazz.”
In addition to an extremely successful solo career, Gordon tours regularly leading his quintet known as Wycliffe Gordon and His International All-Stars, headlining at legendary jazz venues and performing arts centers throughout the world.
He released I Give You Love — a follow-up album to his very popular “Hello Pops: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong” in 2016.
As one of America’s most committed music educators, Gordon has served as Artist-in-Residence at Augusta University, Music Director for the Louis Armstrong Legacy Project, and continues to be the Yamaha Performing Artist. He also and has his own line of Wycliffe Gordon Pro Signature Mouthpieces by Pickett Brass.