Natchez Festival of Music days away

Published 12:01 am Sunday, April 22, 2018

May is days away, so get ready to sing into spring with Natchez Festival of Music’s fabulous 2018 Season.

To up the excitement, the Festival is holding an online drawing for a free season ticket. To enter, cross your fingers and visit

The season is bookended with two must-see performances. Our May 5 Opening Gala features the multi-award-winning Mac McAnally with members of Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer band and concludes with a deal with the devil on May 26 with the presentation Charles Gounod’s seductive opera “Faust.”

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The line-up has something for everyone. From Bernstein blockbusters to Sondheim show-stoppers, along with some French Quarter favorites, Phantom excerpts, Faust, Hot Salsa music, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts, and Lerner and Loewe love songs, there is a lot to celebrate. Invite friends to town, catch up with your favorite locals, plan a pre-show gathering and make an evening of it.

Each Tuesday enjoy “Rossini, Puccini and Martinis.” This is a Natchez Festival of Music favorite event. Come hear the very best singers in the nation perform exciting arias while you sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite drinks. These shows are always fun and different.

On Wednesdays, it’s “Rockin’ on the River at Bowie’s” from 6:30 – 9 p.m. showcasing blues and rock ’n’ roll, along with a fabulous river sunset. Alluvial Funk, Matt Willis and Anne Freeman & The Garbage Sons are the featured entertainment.

Again, be certain to attend our Opening Night Gala on May 5. The Country Music Association has named Mac McAnally as musician of the year for nine years.

“Phantom & Beyond: The Majestic World of the Organ” pipes up Thursday, May 10. Far from just another classical concert, Joseph Britain moves seamlessly from Bach to Broadway.

“British Invasion of Natchez II: The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Onward,” is May 11. It begins with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and continues with more music by the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Queen and Pink Floyd.

“Havana Nights” features Salseros del Sur — Mississippi’s Hottest Salsa Band on May 12.

“The Two Faces of Bernstein”: A Centennial Celebration of America’s Preeminent Renaissance Musician, May 17, celebrates one of the most profound musicians in American history. Bernstein is known for conducting the New York Philharmonic and scores such as “West Side Story.”

“Almost Like Being in Love: An Evening of Lerner and Loewe” on May 18, evening event including entertainment, hors-d’oeuvres and adult beverages. Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe became synonymous with the blockbuster Broadway musical, producing such hits as “Brigadoon,” “Paint Your Wagon,” “Camelot,” the movie musical “Gigi,” and their adored classic, “My Fair Lady.”

May 19, Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” explores the tangled web of affairs between an actress and all the men who love her.

“Makin’ it Sing! The Eclectic Guitar of Barry Leach” opens May 24. Barry is a guitarist’s guitarist in rock, pop, jazz and classical music.

“A Night in the Big Easy: A Salute to the New Orleans Tricentennial” on May 25, is a free event sponsored by the National Park Service. This event features Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony with the Arrowhead Jazz Band.

Our season finale “Faust,” a Tribute to the Charles Gounod Bicentennial, is May 26. Based on one of the most iconic legends of all time, the elderly philosopher and physician, Dr. Johann Faust, makes a rash deal with Mephistopheles to serve him in the afterlife in exchange for his help in seducing the innocent young maiden, Marguerite.

The festival of music is as much about bringing friends together as it is about bringing magnificent music to our beautiful river city, so mark your calendars, gather your group, and get your tickets, which range from $8-$30 with discounts for season or Main Stage packages, students and military.

Remember: shows are every night Tuesday through Saturday. I look forward to seeing you there! More information and ticket purchases are online at,or call 1-888-718-4253.

Diana Glaze is chairman of Natchez Festival of Music.