40th annual Savannah Jazz Festival begins with Blues Night

Savannah Jazz Festival

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – For its 40th year, the Savannah Jazz Festival kicked off its weekend of live music with performances from some passionate blues players.

The festival is once again partnering with WSAV to livestream all 15 performances online from Friday through Sunday.

While the in-person audience is limited in compliance with local COVID guidelines, jazz lovers around the world can enjoy the event each night online for free.

Rewatch the Blues Night performances below and visit wsav.com/savannahjazzfestival to catch the rest of the shows.

Eric Culberson

The Eric Culberson Band, a Savannah Blues legend, has graced the Savannah Jazz Festival for years as a beloved regional act. Culberson has been playing music since the age of 6.

In 1992, he caught the attention of Kingsnake Records’ head, Bob Greenlee, and was signed as a solo artist. Since then, he has performed in major festivals, toured the Midwest and even played a bit in Europe.

In 1998, Culberson opened Savannah Blues, a live music nightclub hosting legends including Bobby Blue Bland, Sean Costello and Derek Trucks.

Robert Lee Coleman

Robert Lee Coleman, of Macon, Georgia, played the guitar for two music legends — James Brown and Percy Sledge.

Sledge picked Coleman in 1965 to play for his touring band, a position he held through 1969. During this time, Coleman toured extensively throughout North and South America, the Caribbean and Africa.

In April of 1970, Brown came to Macon looking for players for his backing band, the newly founded “JBs.” From then until the end of ‘72, Coleman toured and recorded with Brown. His guitar is featured on Brown’s album “Hot Pants”, including the songs “Revolution of the Mind,” recorded live at the Apollo Theater and “Make It Funky” from the “Soul Classics” LP.

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