Announcing The 40th Savannah Jazz Festival 2021

Ranky Tanky: Charlton Singleton, Clay Ross, Quiana Parler, Kevin Hamilton and Quentin Baxter | Photo: Robby Klein
Ranky Tanky: Charlton Singleton, Clay Ross, Quiana Parler, Kevin Hamilton and Quentin Baxter | Photo: Robby Klein

Savannah Jazz, in partnership with the City of Savannah and WSAV announces that the 40th annual Savannah Jazz Festival will take place September 23 – 26. Free, live, and festive!

“We are beyond grateful that the City and WSAV will continue their lead partnerships to deliver the 40th Savannah Jazz Festival, poised to reach our biggest audience ever,” says Paula Fogarty, Interim Executive Director. Last year’s festival was live streamed from Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum reaching 175,000 people around the world.

Fogarty explains, “Mayor Johnson will announce later this summer if we can gather again in Forsyth Park. His leadership has kept Savannah safe for residents, businesses, and tourists during the height of the pandemic, but things look hopeful as many music concerts in arenas and stadiums are planned for Summer


Alternatively, Savannah Jazz is prepared to relocate the festival to Savannah Station according to City guidelines. In either case, Savannah Jazz Festival will live stream through its partnership with WSAV to reach the largest audience in the festival’s history.

The organization’s mission is to deliver worldclass music for free to a large and diverse listening audience. Fifteen live performances plus a movie will fill our program, in addition to Master Classes delivered digitally to area school classrooms.

Our World-Class Lineup

This year’s headliners include Gramm y-award-winning, Charleston, SC-based, Ranky Tanky accompanied by Savannah Jazz Hall of Fame member, Quentin Baxter, on drums. Their timeless music is born of the Gullah culture of our region’s Sea Islands. Their eponymously titled debut album soared to #1 on the Billboard, Amazon, and iTunes Jazz Charts.

The Savannah Divas backed by the Savannah Jazz Orchestra headline Saturday night showcasing our region’s jazz superstars. Priscilla Albergottie Williams has headlined in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart, Germany as well as performances throughout the United States. Cynthia Utterbach a New Jersey native has performed around the world in the musical production “The Buddy Holly Story” and has performed throughout Europe as a jazz vocalist at festivals and clubs. Stephanie Nakasian, who recently adopted Savannah as her hometown, is listed in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz as one of the world’s leading singers. These ladies will front the 17-piece Savannah Jazz Orchestra that will play again for the first time since the 2019 Festival.

Jazz bass legend, John Lee, joins us with special guest, and Grammy award-winning pianist, Lawrence Hobgood. John Lee, a legendary American jazz bassist, and Grammy award-winning producer started his career in 1970 and he has worked with jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, James Moody, Aretha Franklin, Gregory Hines and many more.

Savannah Jazz, a 501c3 non-profit, is calling for your support to keep our festival free. Your individual and corporate sponsorships will reach over 175,000 people globally. For all information visit

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