The Coastal Jazz Association Presents Jazz – Just Up the Road

28th Annual Tribute to

 Duke Ellington

The Rite of Swing

Savannah Jazz Orchestra


Saxophonist Nikolai Panov

Sunday – April 27th   @ 5pm  @   AASU   Fine Arts Auditorium

FREE and Open to the Public

Sponsored by the City Of Savannah Cultural Arts

Sunday, April 27th   is a special day in Savannah.  The Coastal Jazz Association will present The Annual Duke Ellington Tribute which celebrates the outstanding music of one of America’s greatest composers and musicians.  Ellington is credited for composing well over 1000 songs. This year’s featured performer is renown international saxophonist, Nikolai Panov.

The concert will feature the Savannah Jazz Orchestra under the leadership of Drs. Randall Reese and Teddy Adams.  The orchestra is comprised of the area’s best musicians and will feature vocalist, Priscilla Albergottie-Williams who has been rendering excellent performances year after year and can be heard on SJO’s dazzling CD, “Satin Doll”, (The music of Duke Ellington & Johnny Mercer).  The large ensemble includes trumpets, trombones, saxophones, piano, bass, drums and fabulous vocals.    The ensemble proudly features the music of many regional and national composers & arrangers, including:  Kevin Mahogany, Diane Schuur, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Deborah Brown, Vanessa Rubin, Ed Calle, Marlena Shaw, Joey DeFrancesco, Claudio Roditi, Bobby Watson, Vincent Herring, Simone, Marcus Printup, Wycliffe Gordon, Sam Skelton and Nick Brignola.

Each year in addition to Ms.   Albergottie-Williams, a special guest is showcased.  Guests are carefully chosen by the orchestra to ensure proper representation and interpretation of Ellington’s music.  This year is no exception. 

Composer, arranger, saxophonist, Nikolai Panov has performed in countries across the globe, including:  America, France, Germany,  India, China, Netherland, Russia, Belgium, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Egypt,  Israel, and Turkey. Born in Russia, he was soloist and arranger in the Russian State Orchestra for 14 years and has been the overall center of jazz events in Russia and abroad ever since the late 1970s. 

Mr. Panov has shared the his stage presence with with luminaries such as  Steve Wonder, Natalie Cole, Gunther Schuller, Johnny Griffin, Cyrus Chestnut, Miki  Howard, Deborah Brown , Phillip Catherine, and Dave Samuels,   well as many others.

This outstanding annual event is sponsored by the City of Savannah, Department of Leisure Services, Armstrong Atlantic University and the Coastal Jazz Association. 

This event is free and open to the public.  Sunday, April 27, 2014, 5:00PM at Armstrong Atlantic University‘s Fine Arts Theater. 


The Coastal Jazz Association Presents   Jazz – Just Across The River

Obie Jessie

Sunday, May 18th @ 5pm  @  Savannah Westin Resort

Members Free / Non Members $20 / Students free with Valid ID

Born in Texas and, thanks to his musically inclined mother, Obie Jessie was exposed to jazz concerts by the greats of that time, such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and other legends.  Consequently, he studied Piano and Sax.

 Immersed in other genres of music during his earlier years as a professional musician,  Mr. Jessie moved into the Jazz Genre successfully with the Capitol Records label in the early 60’s, while simultaneously recording novelty songs for Mercury Records and soul ballads for the Vanessa Label.

From 1964 to 1991, he became a familiar face to supper club venues with the Obie Jessie Trio, which played mostly mainstream vocal jazz. He was musical director for Esther Phillips from 1976 until 1981. In 1982 he went to Germany to record there. The next year he was an important participant in the “R & B Jamboree” that Ace Records staged at London’s Electric Ballroom in Camden Town.  On the same bill were Chuck Higgins, Willie Egan and Big Jay McNeely. Mr. Jessie astonished the audience with his charismatic performances: His powerhouse baritone had lost none of its authority.

His most recent CD (January 2009) is “New Atmosphere”, is on the Jazz Family label. Like his other recent albums, “Here’s To Life” (2002) and “What Happened To Jr.” (1995), it is pure jazz.

Mr. Jessie will be accompanied by some of Savannah’s best jazz artists (directed by Teddy Adams)



The Coastal Jazz Association  Presents

Jazz  – Just Across The “Park” !

Lenore Raphael

 Sunday – June 29th   @ 5pm

Mansion on Forsyth 

   $20 Admission -  FREE  to Members and Students

Critics, jazz hosts and jazz lovers all agree that she is one of the most swinging mainstream pianists today. Influenced by Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell and Bill Evans, she has taken these influences and created her own recognizable sound. 

Jazz critic John Gilbert has called her “simply one of the best pianists in the jazz mainstream today”

 Born and raised in New York City, Ms. Raphael began playing the piano at age 3.  She performed at Carnegie Hall in a piano recital at age 7 playing a classical piece by Mozart.

 Her interest turned to jazz at age 12 and she has devoted her life to her love of jazz, performing and teaching jazz master classes internationally.

 As a renowned international jazz Pianist / Steinway Artist, ASCAP award-winning composer and jazz teacher, Ms. Lenore has performed at top jazz venues.

 Ms. Raphael had the honor of performing at the tribute to Oscar Peterson in Toronto, Canada where she performed her well known composition. “Blues For O.P.” Ms. Raphael has also had performances at major jazz festivals, such as Ottawa International Jazz festival, Joy of Jazz festival (Johannesburg, South Africa, Jazz in the Sangres (Colorado)  renowned jazz clubs such as Jazz At Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, Birdland, Ronnie Scott’s,  and universities world-wide, she is one of the busiest artists in the jazz genre.

She has won ASCAP awards for her original compositions, which appear on her own CDs and other artists’. They have been played on Continental Airlines in-flight jazz stream, and on jazz stations worldwide, including their inclusion into the Jazz At Lincoln Center jazz stream.  

Ms. Raphael has recorded 7 critically acclaimed CDS on the Swingin’ Fox Music label. Some of her recordings have reached Top 10 airplay and her 2006 recording “Invitation” and 2012 recording “Loverly” were up for Grammy nominations. 

Ms. Raphael now has her own radio show called “Lenore Raphael’s JazzSpot” on purejazzradio on the internet where she interviews and performs with famed jazz artists and up and coming ones as well. Along the way she has performed and recorded with such greats as Clark Terry, Warren Vache, Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jack Wilkins and more. 

In addition, she is a talented jazz teacher and has done highly acclaimed Jazz Master Classes and colleges and universities world-wide.  She was also director at the summer jazz workshop at Montclair University in New Jersey and ran the summer jazz camp at East Tennessee State University.

Lenore is now the artistic director for two ongoing jazz concerts in New York City and in North Carolina.

NOTE VENUE at Mansion on Forsyth Park, 700 Drayton Street.  Free Parking ON THE STREET.

The Coastal Jazz Association  Presents   Jazz  – Just Across The River !


New Date

The Coastal Jazz Association  Presents   Jazz  – Just Across The River !


The Mike Frost Band  Featuring Lauren Meccia

Sunday – July 20th  @ 5pm

Savannah Westin Resort   -  $20 Admission -  FREE  to Members and Students


The Mike Frost Band –  featuring the superb vocals and saxophone of Lauren Meccia – is energizing the music scene by blending together several styles to create a sound that’s all their own. Anchored by the dynamic bass playing of Mike Frost – an artist with decades of worldwide touring and performing experience – they combine a crowd-pleasing sense of fun with adventurous, turn-on-a-dime musicianship.  As evidenced by their stellar CD releases, Riddle Me This? (2011), Get Frosted! Live at the Blue Horse (2011), Frosty Christmas (2012), and Live at the Red Pepper (2013), their sound contains elements of danceable funk, classic rock, and R&B, while their approach to jazz standards and modern ballads is laced with undeniable verve and performed with a soulful spirit.

Mike Frost is former student of jazz legends Pat Martino and Jaco Pastorius.  Mr. Frost is a life- long composer, studio musician, educator, recording engineer, and the designer of Brickhouse speaker enclosures. He leads his own Mike Frost Band and tours with Jesse Colin Young and with guitarist Esteban.

Lauren Meccia is well known for her work on the saxophone. She is branching into new territory with her vocal performance and incorporation of the EWI (Electric Wind Instrument). Ms. Meccia is the director of instrumental ensembles at the University of South Carolina-Aiken including the University Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and the Pacer Pulse Athletic Band. She also serves as Instructor of Saxophone and Associate Conductor of the Aiken Concert Band. Ms. Meccia is the founder and director of the Central Savannah River Area New Horizons Band, a beginning band for adults.

Active in jazz and concert music, Ms. Meccia has performed with many regional ensembles including the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Palmetto Concert Band, and the Aiken Big Band, and has appeared in concert with the Temptations and with Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

To see our Calendar of Events, please click here!