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Seventeen days in Savannah
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This week, as is our annual habit, we immediately turn from St. Patrick's Day coverage to extensive coverage of the Savannah Music Festival, an event we're proud to help sponsor.

A few weeks ago we also helped sponsor the Savannah Stopover, different in some ways from the Savannah Music Festival but very much alike in the extremely high quality of performances and the vision of taking Savannah to a new, higher artistic and creative level.

One very important thing to remember about both these festivals is that the whole point is the glory and spontaneity of live performance. Fishing around for YouTube videos ain't gonna cut it with this level of talent. You've got to see and hear them in person to believe them.

Savannah Music Festival Executive and Artistic Director Rob Gibson has a distinct flair not only for curating a program that is of extremely high quality on paper, every one of the acts he's booked - as great as they sound in a studio recording - is at least ten times better live.

As the Savannah Music Festival reaches a comfortable level of maturity - by which I mean it's not the new kid on the block anymore - we see a pattern evolve. The Festival has accumulated what amounts to a repertory company of popular annual repeat performers - Punch Brothers, Bela Fleck, Dianne Reeves, to name but a few - and features a number of high-profile new bookings, such as Band of Horses, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and the Avett Brothers (again to name but a few.)

Spearheaded by our Arts & Entertainment Editor Bill DeYoung, our coverage this week includes interviews with Mr. Fleck, Ms. Jones, Seth Avett, Jimmie Dale Gilmore of the Flatlanders, and bluesman Michael Burks.

While we're paying particular attention this week to the various concerts Connect Savannah is sponsoring - Sharon Jones, the first sellout of the Festival, being chief among them - we're also providing in-depth coverage of all sorts of acts at the Festival, of all genres.

In addition to our interviews, there is a section of concerts that we particularly recommend as noteworthy. We have also included a full Festival schedule, in case you need a one-stop-shop version to carry around with you.

Much more coverage in on tap for next week's issue, including the first round of reviews from the Festival.

See you there!