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Savannah Music Festival Joins Local Organizations in Celebrating the Memory of Late Jazz Pioneer Joe “King” Oliver
(Published: March 16, 2007)

On Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m., the Friends of King Oliver, Friends of African American Arts and Savannah Music Festival honor the legacy of jazz pioneer Joe "King" Oliver at 514 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. Wynton Marsalis, who will be in town for his Savannah debut with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Savannah Music Festival, is scheduled to make an appearance to say a few words about Oliver.

Joe Oliver, one of the most important figures in early Jazz, spent the final years of his life in Savannah. He was the mentor and teacher of Louis Armstrong, who idolized him and called him "Papa Joe." Oliver led one of the best and most important bands in early jazz, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. Oliver was the inventor of the Harmon mute and famous for using mutes derbies, bottles and cups to alter the sound of his cornet. The group's 1923 sessions were a milestone in Jazz, introducing the playing of Louis Armstrong to the world and featuring one the first recorded "solo" in jazz, Oliver's famous "Dippermouth Blues" from 1923. The site of the plaque installation is very near where Oliver lived and worked while in Savannah.

Brief remarks will also be made by Dr. Julius "Boo" Hornstein and Dr. Walter Evans. This event is free and open to the public. On Sunday, March 25 at 11 a.m., Hornstein presents a lecture titled "The King in Exile," an accounting of King Oliver's last days in Savannah, at the Neises Auditorium in the Jepson Center for the Arts.

Jazz Shows at the 2007 Savannah Music Festival

March 16 (6 and 9 p.m.) - Dianne Reeves (co-bill with Susan Tedeschi)

March 24 (7:30 p.m.) - Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (sold out)

March 28 (6 and 8 p.m.) - Piano Showdown (both shows sold out)

March 29 (5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.) - Le Jazz Hot with the John Jorgenson Quintet, Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, James Chirillo and Ken Peplowski; 4:30 pre-concert talk with David Benedetto of Benedetto Guitars

March 30 (5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.) - Swing Time with the Marcus Roberts Trio, Wycliffe Gordon, Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden and Ken Peplowski

March 31 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) - High School Jazz Band Showcase (FREE, in City Market)

March 31 (7:30 p.m.) - John Pizzarelli & the New York All-Star Big Band

About the Savannah Music Festival

Now Georgia's largest music event, the 2007 Savannah Music Festival takes place March 15 - April 1, 2007. The 18th annual springtime festival presents a world-class celebration of musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences. SMF's schedule of events, artist profiles, support, and online ticket purchase are available at www.savannahmusicfestival.org and through the Festival offices at 912-234-3378. Tickets are also available by phone at 912.525.5050.

More Information: http://www.savannahmusicfestival.org

Submitted By: Savannah Music Fest

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