Another Friday and another new member initiation for Rotary Club of Savannah East!  RCSE welcomed transferring Rotarian Charlie Lovering as a new member to our club.  Welcome, Charlie!  Once all Rotary Business items were discussed, Kim Campbell introduced Paula Fogarty, Executive Director of Savannah Jazz.  
Savannah Jazz was born out of the Coastal Jazz Association in 1982.  They are a non profit organization mostly run by volunteers and consider themselves the stewards of jazz in our area.  Savannah Jazz was one of the few organizations that was fully operational during Covid.  Through their online presence, they were able to reach over 170,000 people worldwide.  
Before previewing the upcoming Savannah Jazz Festival, Paula gave us some background on the history and origins of jazz.  It began as a way for African Americans to communicate in the fields and churches.  It was a call and a response.  In the 1930's and 1940's, there were around 190 jazz venues in Savannah and Savannah was known as the "Harlem of the South."  In 1960, rock 'n' roll was introduced and unfortunately, jazz went into a decline.  
The Savannah Jazz Festival will be held this year from September 18th - September 24th.  There will be 21 shows in which 17 of them are free to the public!  Over 50,000 people will attend.  Paula then highlighted some of the programming for the upcoming event.  She also mentioned that Savannah Jazz does a lot more than host the Savannah Jazz Festival.  They also have monthly concerts, give scholarships to local jazz programs, and recently curated an exhibit in the Savannah Historical Museum.  To learn more about Savannah Jazz, please visit