40th Annual Christmas Day Jazz Concert And Jam Session


The 40th Annual Christmas Day Concert and Jam Session, presented by the Coastal Jazz Association, will be held Friday at the Savannah Station located at 601 Cohen St. beginning at 5pm.

The annual Christmas Day Concert and Jam Session began in the mid 1950s as a fundraiser for the local AMF 704 (American Federation of Musicians).. Savannah was a mecca for musicians with several venues that offered live Jazz. The Christmas Day Concert and Jam Session included an evening of several sets that featured established bands and the jam session focused on musicians who were not a part of any particular band.

This event was always held on the evening of Christmas Day (after family gatherings and dinner) at the Flamingo Club, one of Savannah’s premier venues for live entertainment. The Flamingo Club closed in the mid 1960s and the annual Christmas Day Concert and Jam Session was discontinued until trombonist, Teddy Adams returned to Savannah after living in Japan and Thailand for almost 11 years. The concert was reprised on Christmas Day of 1976 and has been celebrated every year since then. Although there is a history of almost 50 years for this event, this year is the 40th consecutive year since 1976.

The Coastal Jazz Association has been involved for almost 20 years and the proceeds from the concert and jam session are awarded in the form of fi- nancial scholarships to deserving students who are involved in the Jazz programs at Armstrong and Georgia Southern Universities. The students are usually featured with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra at their annual Duke Ellington Concert which is held in April at Armstrong University.

This year, like the previous years, the concert and jam session will be divided into two parts, the concert which will feature a select group of musicians playing special compositions, and the jam session which will be open to invited artists.

We are expecting a record number of guest musicians with the main focus on the future of Jazz: our youth.

There will be several former Savannah Arts Skylite Band students who have received either an undergraduate or masters degree in Jazz studies/performance and are working and/ or teaching as professional musicians. They are proudly representing the Jazz legacy that this great city is known for.

In addition to former members of the Savannah Arts Academy Skylite Band who include Jaran McCarr, trombone, Alex Nguyen, trumpet, Robin Sherman, bass and Brendan Polk on piano, Savannah’s premier vocalist, Gina Rene, saxophonists, Calvin Barnes, Jeremy Johnson, Phillip Whack (a stand out soloist from last year’s concert) trumpeter Kirk Lee and holding down the rhythm section, Eric Jones on piano and Robert Saunders on drums. Savannah/Coastal Jazz Association Hall of famers Teddy Adams,Howard Paul and Delbert Felix will be at the forefront of the evening’s entertainment.

It’s going to be an evening of great Jazz! Tickets are available online and at the following locations: Portman’s Music Superstore, Rody’s Audio Warehouse, TailsSpin (Habersham St), The Magic Puppet (Savannah Mall) and at the door.

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