SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – B-3 Sunday wrapped up the Savannah-Safe Jazz Festival, a socially-distanced event streaming around the world.
From the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, the final six performances of the 39th annual festival were enjoyed by a small audience in person, with thousands more watching online.
Listen to Ike Stubblefield and his Hammond B-3 organ and Pat Bianchi, recently voted the Best Organist in New York, with a whole host of other musicians, below.
Dave Potter Quartet
Dave Potter has as performed with many well-known jazz artists and recorded three albums with Jason Marsalis.
Following his graduation from Florida State University in 2005, he was chosen from a national pool of applicants to be a member of the Louis Armstrong Quintet at the University of New Orleans. Unfortunately, the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina temporarily ended his hopes for a career in Louisiana. He received his master’s degree from Florida State in the winter of 2008 after further collaboration with his mentor Marcus Roberts.
In 2010, Potter was featured in a novel entitled “The New Face of Jazz” about the younger generation of Jazz musicians making an impact in the current scene.
He is now located in Atlanta, where he maintains a busy teaching and performing schedule, while also touring the globe as a member of The Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet. This year is his first performance at the Savannah Jazz Festival and he is joined by the highly accomplished saxophonist Greg Tardy.
Performing for his second time at the Savannah Jazz Festival, Brian Miller represents all that is great about American Gospel and Jazz music today.
Miller developed a strong passion for music at an early age through the gospel melodies at his childhood church home. He has performed for President Bill Clinton at the White House twice and recorded his original composition “Desmond Street,” with the world-renowned North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble.
He has worked with Clark Terry, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton and has most recently shared the stage with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Branford Marsalis, John Faddis, Terrence Blanchard and many other legends.
Performing this year with members of the Savannah Jazz Rhythm Section, he brings an uplifting spirit to all of his performances.
The highly diverse B-3 organ sensation, Ike Stubblefield, joins the festival for the first time this year. He has played with super-stars including George Benson, Eric Clapton, Curtis Mayfield, Boz Scaggs, Marvin Gaye, Jerry Garcia, B.B. King and numerous others.
Born in Ohio, Stubblefield has lived all over the country planting roots in San Francisco, Detroit, Toledo and Atlanta where he helped create the B-3 jazz club, The Blue Room. He now lives in Athens where he performs with the likes of Randall Bramblett, John Keane and he comes to the Savannah region to play at Good Times and The Jazz Corner.
Organizers say Stubblefield’s upbeat stylings on the organ adds great energy to this year’s festival lineup.
Stephanie Nakasian and the Savannah Jazz Orchestra All-Stars
Stephanie Nakasian, listed in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz as one of the world’s leading jazz singers, joins the Savannah Jazz Orchestra All-Stars for a spectacular show.
Nakasian toured extensively with the jazz master and her mentor, Jon Hendricks, who chose her because of her hip, swinging rhythm. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band features her frequently on their internationally syndicated show, Riverwalk, portraying Lee Wiley, Peggy Lee, Helen Ward, Helen Humes, ’20s singers and blues singers for her swing and authenticity.
Often compared to jazz greats, it’s Nakasian’s clean and clear tones that have given rise to her polarity, while her ability to perform the standards transports listeners to another place in time.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch “compared her to Ella…and (she) deserves it.”
Grammy-award-winning saxophonist David Sanchez, from Puerto Rico, joins the Savannah Jazz Rhythm Section on Sunday for a swinging show.
Hailed as “the most profound young tenor saxophonist working today,” Sanchez toured for years with Dizzy Gillespie, who was his mentor, and he has recorded 10 albums.
Sanchez incorporates a rich mix of Latin and Afro-Caribbean influences while remaining true to the tenets of the jazz genre. The bomba and plena rhythms of Puerto Rico, along with Cuban and Brazilian traditions, were among the biggest influences on Sánchez’s early taste in music.
He says Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and John Coltrane had the greatest impact on his playing. “I’m just talking about tenor, now. Charlie Parker is a major influence, of course, and many, many others.”
Pat Bianchi, coming in from New York with his trio, was recently voted the Best Organist in New York and has collaborated with icons such as Pat Martino, Chuck Loeb and Joey DeFrancesco.
The Grammy-nominated organist, and winner of the Downbeat Magazine’s 2016 critics poll, is a strong contributor to the legacy of the Hammond B-3.
Bianchi, who has been described by his peers as virtuosic, has a deep knowledge of jazz organ history, which informs his own work. And while he is a proponent of the classic jazz organ trio sound, he is not confined by it.
Organizers say they are thrilled to have Bianchi as the high-energy closing act to this unique year at the Savannah-Safe Jazz Festival.