The news about Wilco's appearance at the 2010 Savannah Music Festival has spread like wildfire, but there are lots of other shows worth talking about on the just-announced schedule.
The festival runs from March 18 to April 3 in various venues around the city.
The March 25 Wilco concert, in the Johnny Mercer Theatre, is surrounded by performances from some major names in rock, jazz, classical and other musical genres.
Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell makes his SMF debut with concerts at the Charles H. Morris Center April 2 and 3. Frisell, who's equally at home in the eclectic worlds of rock, country and blues, will perform with West African lute player Bassekou Kouyate.
Derek Trucks, the young master of the slide guitar, returns for an encore SMF appearance with his wife, the gifted singer and guitarist Susan Tedeschi. The date and time of this concert has not been announced.
Trucks is currently a member of the Allman Brothers Band (his uncle is Butch Trucks, the ABB's drummer), and not so long ago toured the world as a key member of Eric Clapton's touring band. He is a mega-star among jam-band aficionados.
And Patty Loveless, one of the finest roots and honky tonk vocalists in all of country music, shares a bill with Kathy Mattea March 20 at the Lucas Theatre.
Already announced via Connect Savannah: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, March 28 in the Johnny Mercer Thaatre; She & Him, a rock ‘n' roll duo with one-man band M. Ward and film actress Zooey Deschanel, March 27 at the Trustees Theater; mandolinists Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, with Caterina Lichtenberg, March 24 at the Morris Center.
The Connect Americana concert series includes shows from Cajun master David Greely (in the afternoon, March 25, Morris Center), the bluegrass family band Cherryholmes (evening of March 25, Morris Center), teenage bluegrass pickers Sierra Noble and Sarah Jarosz (March 22 and 23, Morris Center) and the great bluegrass group The Del McCoury Band (April 3, Lucas Theatre).
Other highlights of the 2010 Savannah Music Festival:
The young classical pianist Lang Lang performs with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra March 18 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre.
Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys play for your dancing pleasure at the annual Zydeco Dance Party, March 19 at the Morris Center.
Brazilian guitarists the Assad Brothers, with the gypsy jazz-playing Roby Lakatos Ensemble, March 19 at the Lucas Theatre.
Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio, featuring one of Nashville's most prized violinists, March 26 and 27 at the Morris Center.
Recitals from classical pianists Yefim Bronfman, Sebastian Knauer, Jeffrey Kahane and Gabriela Montero.
Legendary jazz pianist Dick Hyman will perform the music of Fats Waller.
Pianist Wu Han returns, with David Finckel and Philip Setzer.
The Emerson String Quartet will play two separate and distinct programs of Dvorzak music.
The Swing Central Finale concert will include the Marcus Roberts Trio, the Clayton Brothers, Marcus Printup, Ted Nash and others.
British violinist Daniel Hope has once again collected a mix of exemplary classical musicians for the Sensations concert series, always held at the Telfair Academy.
Savannah Music Festival director Rob Gibson will announce the entire season, every show in every series, at the Morris Center Thursday night. Tickets for all events go on sale Friday morning.
For additional information, see www.savannahmusicfestival.org.