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March 9, 2023 City Council Regular Meeting
5. Appearance by Gene Dobbs Bradford, Executive Director of the Savannah Music Festival, to Provide a Preview of the 2023 Savannah Music Festival.
Strategic Priority
Good Government

Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is Georgia’s largest musical arts event and one of the most distinctive cross-genre music festivals in the world. Founded in 1989 as the Savannah Onstage International Arts Festival, the organization rebranded in 2002 as the Savannah Music Festival. SMF operates year-round to plan and produce an annual springtime festival that presents a diverse selection of music genres, including classical, jazz, American, and international roots music. The festival is presented in a range of venues in Savannah’s Historic District. A typical festival season includes 90 concerts with over 600 artists from across the US and the world, with an average audience of 30,000 patrons. The 2023 fiscal year marks SMF’s 34th festival season. 


In addition, SMF produces Savannah Music Festival LIVE, a public radio program now in its 15th season that airs weekly and has been licensed nationwide. SMF has regularly contributed recorded content to American Public Media, also producing custom content for NPR Music, WQXR/WNYC and Sirius XM. SMF is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences of all ages through engagement with the arts. SMF’s two local education programs, Musical Explorers and SMF Jazz Academy, are completely cost-free for all participants. Musical Explorers is a local, year-round K-2 music curriculum in which students learn about six genres of music in the classroom, culminating in live concerts. SMF Jazz Academy is a year-round intensive and progressive after-school jazz music education program designed for students in grades 5-12, providing free instruments, ensemble instruction, and one-on-one training. SMF reaches more than 10,000 local children through these efforts.

Van R. Johnson II, Mayor
Financial Impact
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