Contact: Chris Corey
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Metropolitan Savanna
5111 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31405
United States of America

Lunch will be a salad bar.  $12.50 in advance and $15.00 at the door.

Gene Dobbs Bradford joined Savannah Music Festival as Executive Director of the Savannah in February 2022. He previously served as the President and CEO of Jazz St. Louis for 23 years, where he led an $8.5 million capital campaign as well as the expansion of education and outreach programs reaching more than 200,000 students. Before his tenure with Jazz St. Louis, Gene served as the Director of Operations for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and as the Production Manager for the Honolulu Symphony.


Known for his award-winning collaborations with other arts institutions, his collaboration with Opera Theatre of St. Louis resulted in the commissioning and production of two operas; Champion in 2013, and Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2021, making history as the first opera written by an African-American to ever be presented at The Met.


Gene has received many honors over the years, including a University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music’s Centennial Award, Jazz Journalist Association’s Jazz Hero Award, St. Louis Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts, Excellence in Leadership and Civic Engagement Award and Inclusive Leadership Award. He has also been named the Non-profit Executive of the Year by the St. Louis American Foundation, honored as one of the Most Influential People in St. Louis and received a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the Webster Groves Arts Commission.

Gene earned a bachelor’s degree in Music from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and an MBA from Washington University. As a student at Eastman, Gene developed a passion for playing blues harmonica, which he still plays today. As a harmonica player, he has performed with leading artists such as Jon Batiste, Terence Blanchard, Wynton Marsalis, Cedric Burnside and Cyrus Chestnut. Gene and his wife, Maria, have one daughter, Mireille.