The Natchez Festival of Music: Music from around the world

Published 3:58 pm Saturday, April 30, 2022

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The month of May is one of my favorite times of the year in Natchez! Flowers are blooming, our forests and fields are green and lush, and the heat of summer has yet to fully kick-in. Throw in the return of amazingly talented musical artists arriving for our annual month-long Natchez Festival of Music, and our beautiful spring is made complete!

Now in its 31st year, the Natchez Festival of Music has long been a primary sponsor of live music, theater and world-class performers, helping to provide Natchez and the entire Miss-Lou area with events such as operas, operettas, Broadway musicals, jazz, recitals and special concerts. Thousands of people can very likely refer to a great musical memory as a result – over 30 years of concerts is a long time and a lot of concerts!

The theme of this year’s festival is “Musical Passports- Music from Around the World”.  This is truly one of the more diverse lineups as we celebrate different stylings encompassing each hemisphere throughout the globe.  Of course, the Festival would not be complete without its staple genres of opera, show tunes, and classical music, but this year’s schedule also features blues, gospel, Eastern music, pop, folk, dance music, and classic rock.

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The first event kicks off on April 30 with “The Magic of Opera”.  Outstanding vocalists will perform Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Puccini, Bizet, Strauss, Wagner, and more.  On May 10, more beautiful arias mixed with your favorite libations will be featured at “Rossini, Puccini, and Martinis”.  The Impromtu Piano Trio will be performing beautiful piano trios at the “Musical Chocolates” event on Saturday, May 14.  .

If you are a lover of musicals, you will not want to miss “Sincerely, Stephen Sondheim” featuring the Hub City Players on May 7 or “Over the Rainbow” where Melanie Gardner and TK Trio will celebrate the life of Judy Garland.  If you would like to experience music from around the world, “Reflections of China” featuring pianist Zhaolei Xie (May 5) and “It Takes Two to Tango” featuring The Kontra Duo are fantastic events you do not want to miss.

There is plenty of room for rocking and grooving this year as well.  On Tuesday, May 3, local legends YZ Ealey and Alvin Shelby will get you moving with “The First Heartbeat”, a blues and gospel concert.  “Feel the Earth Move” will be held on May 12 featuring the incredible songwriting of Carole King.  Finally, this year’s Festival of Music will rock you with you “Forever- The Music of Queen”.

I am looking forward to attending many of these wonderful events.  I hope to see you at one of these concerts as we celebrate the universal language of music! When it comes to music, truly Natchez Deserves More!

For more information on times, tickets, and locations, visit the Natchez Festival of Music website,

Dan Gibson is mayor of Natchez.