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Savannah Music Festival Goes "Mando Madness"

By Kirsten Starkey
December 9, 2004 - 10:30 am

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"...Savannah specializes in events like this, shining light into the corners of music. Now the mandolin --- so often a supporting instrument --- gets the spotlight..."

—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Savannah Music Festival

Savannah Music Festival

December 8, 2004 (Savannah) — The Savannah Music Festival will showcase the mandolin in a variety of unique productions throughout its 2005 Festival, ranging from performances of bluegrass and classical music to jazz and other modern styles. Featuring such renowned mandolinists as Ricky Skaggs, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Mike Marshall, Tony Williamson, and Don Stiernberg, the Festival will showcase some of the earliest works composed for the mandolin (Vivaldi's "Concerto for Mandolin in C Major" from 1740), traditional bluegrass compositions performed by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and cutting edge improvisational performances in the one-time only "Mando Madness" concert. Also featured in the festival will be the David Grisman Quintet and Psychograss, each of which highlights mandolin mastery.


An Evening of Bluegrass with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

Affectionately known as bluegrass music's official ambassador, Ricky Skaggs has brought the genre to a new level of popularity in the past six years. Making his Savannah debut, the eight-time Grammy winner showcases his band, Kentucky Thunder, with a repertoire heavily influenced by the traditional tunes of the Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe. The energy rarely lets up as flawless hot licks fly from Skaggs and his virtuoso sidemen. Bluegrass couldn't be in better hands. An evening of bluegrass will take place March 19th, 8:00pm in the Trustees Theater. David Grisman Quintet.

Often referred to as the "granddaddy of jam bands," the David Grisman Quintet (DGQ) has been the leading force in instrumental acoustic string music and the most important group of its kind for nearly 30 years. Composer and mandolinist David Grisman continues to travel and perform his self-dubbed "dawg" music — a melange of swing, bluegrass, Latin, jazz and gypsy styles. Last year's packed house for the DGQ's Savannah debut prompted many to call it "the best concert of the Festival." This year, David Grisman will play as part of "Mando Madness" and will also join his quintet for a show on March 26th, 9:00pm in the Trustees Theater.

Mando Madness

While the 20th century saw a rise in popularity of the mandolin for bluegrass, jazz, Celtic and classical music styles, it was American mandolin players who led the way in creating its most innovative and inspiring genres. The "Mando Madness" concert on March 25 will be the signature mandolin event of the Festival, gathering a veritable "dream team" of celebrated mandolinists of our time. Accompanied by an all-star cast of instrumentalists, this group of pickers conjures up the mystery, magic and music of the mighty mandolin. Musicians for this exciting event include David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Tony Williamson, Sam Bush, Don Stiernberg, Tony Trischka, Todd Phillips, Darol Anger and David Grier. Enjoy the "madness" on March 25th, 8:00pm in the Trustees Theater.


When five of the world's greatest improvising string virtuosos, representing nearly every aspect of vernacular string playing, decided to form their own group, no one doubted the results. Since that time, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Tony Trischka, David Grier and Todd Phillips have created an original group sound that has been described as a "high-level daredevil bluegrass played without a net." Collectively known as Psychograss, the group interjects humor, warmth, and a mercurial dazzle that is steeped in bluegrass, but continues to blaze trails for new acoustic music. Psychograss has two performances on March 24th, 8 and 9:30pm in Orleans Hall.

Concertos Supreme

This extraordinary evening features an array of celebrated and beloved concertos under the baton of Maestro John Axelrod, acclaimed conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. As part of the evening, mandolinist Mike Marshall will play Vivaldi's "Concerto for Mandolin in C Major". Mandolin aficionados can enjoy this memorable evening on March 25th, 6:00pm at the Lucas Theatre.

About the Savannah Music Festival.

The Savannah Music Festival will take place March 18 - April 3, 2005. The 16th annual event will offer an unparalleled showcase for more than 300 indigenous and internationally renowned musicians representing an abundance of musical styles and genres. Music aficionados and fun-seekers alike will enjoy themselves for 17 days as this inimitable Festival produces a multitude of one-time only performances and world premieres in one of America's most historic cities. For additional information, visit or call (912) 234-3378. Tickets for the 2005 Savannah Music Festival are available on the website or by calling (912) 525-5050.

For more information contact:
Kirsten Starkey, Marketing Manager
Maria G. Watts, Marketing & PR Director
Tel: 912-234-3378
Fax: 912-236-1989

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