Mayor, Savannah, GA, 2012I cannot think of anyone more responsible for revitalizing Jazz in Savannah than Teddy Adams. Since his return to the city after living abroad for over ten years, he has been instrumental in establishing Savannah’s only Jazz support entity, the Coastal Jazz Association and forming the Savannah Jazz Orchestra (a group consisting of the area’s best musicians). Teddy has been educating students and adults alike through classes, workshops, concerts and lectures. He taught adult classes via the Elderhostel Program (professional adults from all over the country) at Savannah State University for more than twenty years. Teddy is still at the forefront of a crusade to perpetuate and improve both Savannah’s strong legacy and contribution to Jazz.
Mayor, Savannah, GA, 2004-2012I have known Teddy Adams since high school where we played in Alfred E. Beach Marching Bull Dogs Band. Beginning in high school Teddy was a force to be recognized. His efforts toward supporting Jazz as both a player and advocate are still vital and stronger than ever today. Since his relocation back to Savannah in 1976, he has done, perhaps, more than anyone else to maintain and perpetuate the Jazz posture in Savannah and the entire Coastal area. His involvement with the Coastal Jazz Association, Savannah Jazz Orchestra and reestablishing the annual Christmas Day Concert and Jam Session has helped those entities to become somewhat of institutions regarding Savannah’s heritage and contribution to the art form of Jazz.
School of Business, Ithaca CollegeYou are very impressive, sir. A combination of shared talent and dignity that comes from your understated, calm confidence. Moreover, it was personally moving for us to see you so embraced by your community.
author of All That Savannah JazzI have known Teddy Adams professionally, and as a friend, for many years. He is the quintessential jazz pioneer and musician in Savannah. He reinvigorated jazz in Savannah, is a founder of the Coastal Jazz Association and the Savannah Jazz Orchestra. Teddy has played with jazz greats all over the world. I own several of his CDs; his original compositions capture the flavor of “sea islands” jazz and are evocative of Savannah’s rich cultural heritage. In short, his jazz swings…
Professor at Savannah College of Art and DesignFounding Father. It’s hard–make that impossible–to think about jazz in Savannah without thinking of Teddy Adams; there’s simply no one more deeply involved in the scene, and that’s been true for many years. Teddy’s list of musical accomplishments and associations is too long to detail here, but a few highlights are in order. He was a charter inductee in the Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame. He has appeared at the Savannah Jazz Festival every year since its inception, as well as at the festivals in Charleston (Spoleto,) Alabama and Atlanta. He has performed with many of the jazz world’s greatest names. Savannah is lucky to have such a fine musician, especially one whose leadership has become evident in so many ways. More than anyone else, Teddy Adams is responsible for the healthy state of jazz in Savannah today.
Jazz Journalist AssociationTeddy Adams is a jazzer’s tombonist–his straight-ahead jazz perfomances are crafted from in-depth musical experience and knowledge (classical and jazz.) He is at home in both large and small group settings and within the many different styles of jazz. He emotes–he blows cool and hot, smooth and rough–always within the context of the musical piece being performed. When Teddy plays, you always know it’s him. If you loved trombonist Curtis Fuller, you’ll love Teddy Adams.
Theron “Ike” Carter
Teddy Adams is the product of the long and rich jazz tradition of Savannah, Georgia. The city has produced some of the most outstanding musicians in the idiom and Teddy Adams is among the best of them. Teddy is the driving force behind the revitalization of the Savannah Jazz scene both as a musician and an educator. He has never been willing to compromise the integrity of the art form for any reason. I have known Teddy Adams for most of my life and I have seen him grow as a musician and as a person. Anyone who has heard him play will surely become aware of his dedication to his art.
EducatorTeddy Adams is a Savannah icon…a dedicated artist who struggles, and has struggled to maintain himself and those he loves in the midst of a rich setting that promises–at best–only moderate rewards for that art…a teacher and a jazz magnet who cannot resist encouraging students and others to preserve, protect and pursue the art of jazz music…a promoter who works tirelessly to foster any and all community support for what he loves, so long as it remains true to the best in that art form. Teddy Adams is a Savannah jazzman of note.