Who Matters: Gene Dobbs Bradford: 1 Year In leading The Savannah Music Festival

Gene Dobbs Bradford reimagines the historic Savannah Music Festival to reflect it’s community roots.

Gene Dobbs Bradford, Executive Director , Savannah Music Festival

When Gene Dobbs Bradford was announced as the new director of the Savannah Music Festival, the festival’s board of directors said they were “thrilled” to have him on board.

Bradford, who is taking over for outgoing director Rob Gibson, comes to Savannah from Jazz St. Louis, where he served as executive director for six years. He also has experience as a presenter, booking agent, and producer.

“The Savannah Music Festival has been on my radar for many years,” Bradford said in a statement. “It is one of the most well-regarded music festivals in the country, and I am honored to be joining such a talented team. I am looking forward to getting started and working with the community to create an even more vibrant festival experience.”

The Savannah Music Festival, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, is one of the largest musical events in the Southeast. The festival features more than 100 performances and draws an annual audience of more than 60,000 people.

“The board is confident that under Gene’s leadership, the festival will continue to grow and thrive,” said SMF Board Chairman Joe Marinelli. “He is a respected leader in the music industry, and we are excited to have him at the helm of the Savannah Music Festival.”

The 2023 festival lineup has not been announced yet, but Bradford said he is looking forward to “programming a wide variety of music that reflects the diverse interests of our audiences.”

“I believe that the strength of the Savannah Music Festival lies in its ability to present a wide variety of genres andSince taking over as the director of the Savannah Music Festival (SMF) in January, 2021, Gene Dobbs Bradford has wasted no time in putting his own stamp on the event. A jazz aficionado, Bradford has shifted the focus of the festival away from classical music and towards Americana and jazz.

“It was really important for me to come in and put my own imprint on the festival,” Bradford said in a recent interview. “The Savannah Music Festival has always been a world-class event, and I want to continue to build on that by programming genres that I’m passionate about.”

Under Bradford’s direction, the 2023 festival will feature a wide range of Americana and jazz acts, including Wynton Marsalis, Common, Mavis Staples, and Branford Marsalis. Bradford is also working to connect the festival with the local community by booking more Savannah-based musicians.

“One of the things that I really want to do is make sure that the festival is reflective of the community,” Bradford said. “Savannah is such a rich cultural city, and I want to make sure that the music we’re presenting reflects that.”

So far, Bradford’s vision for the Savannah Music Festival has been well-received by both locals and visitors. Given his passion for the genres he’s programming, there’s no doubt that Bradford is the right person to keep the SMF moving forward in the years to come.Gene Dobbs Bradford Director of Savannah Music Festival

About The Festival

The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is one of the United States’ premier music festivals. Based in the historic city of Savannah, Georgia, the Festival annually features more than 100 performances of classical, jazz, folk, bluegrass, and rock music.

In 2019, the Festival will take place from March 28-April 13.

The Savannah Music Festival was founded in 1996 by Rob Gibson, a clarinetist and former music director of the New Orleans Symphony. The Festival’s original purpose was to provide a venue for the world-class musicians who were then living and working in Savannah.

Since its inception, the Festival has grown significantly, attracting visitors from all over the world. In 2018, the Festival hosted more than 400 events and attracted over 100,000 people.

The Festival is overseen by a Board of Directors, which includes some of Savannah’s most prominent citizens. The Board is committed to the growth and development of the Savannah Music Festival.

The current Director of the Savannah Music Festival is Gene Dobbs Bradford. Bradford is a native of Georgia and a graduate of the University of Georgia. He has worked in the music industry for over 25 years, most recently as the Director of Jazz St. Louis.

Under Bradford’s leadership, the Savannah Music Festival has become one of the most respected and well-attended music festivals in the country. The Festival has been praised for its innovative programming, its commitment to educational outreach, and its economic impact on the city of Savannah.

In 2019, the Savannah Music Festival will present more than 100 events, featuring world-renowned musicians from a variety of genres. The Festival will also offer aGene Dobbs Bradford Director of Savannah Music Festival

“The Savannah Music Festival has long been one of the most important and respected music festivals in the country, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead it into the future,” Bradford said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with the incredible staff, board and artists to build on the festival’s great legacy and to ensure that it remains a vital force in the cultural life of Savannah and the Southeast.”

The Savannah Music Festival, which was founded in 1986, is a two-week event that features more than 100 concerts and events across a wide range of genres, including classical, jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass and more. The festival takes place each spring in Savannah, Georgia, and attracts more than 65,000 attendees from all over the world.

In 2006, Bradford was hired as the executive director of Jazz St. Louis, where he oversaw the organization’s growth and helped make it one of the most successful jazz presenters inDirector of the Savannah Music Festival, Gene Dobbs Bradford, is excited about the move from Jazz St. Louis.Gene Bradford says the biggest difference he’s noticed so far is the pace of living. In St. Louis, he was used to a city where people were always on the go. “There’s a different pace in Savannah. People are more laid back,” he says.

The Savannah Music Festival is one of the largest music festivals in the country, and Bradford is looking forward to growing the event. “We want to make the Savannah Music Festival the premier music festival in the world,” he says.

About Gene Dobbs Bradford

Bradford is no stranger to the music scene. He’s a classically trained musician, and he’s been involved in the music industry for most of his life. He says he’s looking forward to the challenge of running the Savannah Music Festival. “It’s a great opportunity to work with some of the best musicians in the world and to bring great music to Savannah,” he says.

Gene Dobbs Bradford is the new director of the Savannah Music Festival, and he’s looking to bring his experience and love of music to one of the biggest and most well-respected festivals in the country. He’s been a part of Jazz St. Louis for more than a decade, and he’s been a big part of the city’s music scene. But when he was approached about the possibility of taking over the Savannah Music Festival, he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“The opportunity to work with such a renowned and historic festival was too good to pass up,” Dobbs Bradford said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of something special and to continue the great work that the festival has been doing for years.”

Dobbs Bradford said he plans to bring his own unique perspective to the festival, and he’s excited to get started.

“My goal is to create an environment where people can come and enjoy the music, but also to learn about the music and the history behind it,” Dobbs Bradford said. “I want people to have a good time, but I also want them to come away from the festival with a new appreciation for the music.”

The Savannah Music Festival runs from March 8-25, and Dobbs Bradford is looking forward to a successful event.


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