John Lee, a legendary American jazz bassist and Grammy Award-winning producer, took the stage Saturday night at the 40th annual Savannah Jazz Festival.

Lee started his career in 1970. He’s worked with some of the biggest stars, including Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, James Moody, Aretha Franklin, Gregory Hines and many more.

Lee has produced over 60 albums and CDs since 1977, and as a recording engineer, has recorded and mixed over 100 albums and CDs.

He became Dizzy Gillespie’s bassist in 1984, touring and recording with Dizzy’s Quintet, his Big Band, and his Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra. In 1996, Lee became the director and bassist of the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars and the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience. They have recorded five albums and toured extensively around the world.

Joining Lee on stage this year — special guest Laurence Hobgood, a world-renowned and Grammy-award-winning jazz pianist. His CD “When the Heart Dances,” a duet recording with iconic bassist Charlie Haden, received worldwide acclaim earning 4-star reviews. His 2013 Christmas CD is a refreshing take on overplayed holiday standards and was listed as one of the top Holiday CDs of the year.