Tonight at the Savannah Music Festival: Zakir Hussain’s Masters of Percussion

When the Savannah Music Festival lineup was released months ago, I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale to a handful of shows, including one tonight: Zakir Hussain’s Masters of Percussion.

I’ve seen Zakir Hussain play the tabla a couple of times, including in a stellar show last year at the SMF with Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck.

How could I miss the chance to see him again this year with other great percussionists? (I also heard a rumor that Edgar Meyer is still in Savannah after an earlier SMF gig and might turn up on stage tonight at some point — just a rumor.)

But more importantly, despite the strong and growing ticket sales of the SMF generally, why are there so many tickets still available for tonight’s show? As I write this, four hours before showtime, Trustees Theater is about half sold. That’s better than last year’s turnout for Afropop star Salif Keita, but it’s far short of how many should be there.

There are myriad reasons, all understandable. Tickets aren’t cheap. Many music lovers might be tapped out or simply worn out as we approach the festival’s final weekend. Many regular SMF concertgoers may not recognize Hussain’s name and may have no idea what a tabla is.

So I’m not criticizing any individual for taking a pass on tonight’s show, but at the same time I’m puzzled by the fact that any number of Savannahians will go out tonight and spend $35 to $55 per person on soon-to-be-forgotten dinner and drinks, while that same investment would buy tickets to a show that is sure to exhilarating and possibly unforgettable.

Here’s a little taste:

Click here to read more about the show.

Click here to buy tickets.

Click here to read my Man About Town column today recapping some personal highlights of the first two weeks of the SMF.