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Column: 2023 looks set to be an iconic year for arts and entertainment in central Georgia

The number and ability of touring bands and acts coming to Macon in 2023, including Tyler Bryant and Thursday's Shakedown at Grant, will help ensure 2023 is a fun and memorable year.

The number and ability of touring bands and acts coming to Macon in 2023, including Tyler Bryant and Thursday’s Shakedown at Grant, will help ensure 2023 is a fun and memorable year.

Special to Telegraph

The first few days and weeks of 2023 mark a record New Year in terms of arts, entertainment and good opportunities for outings in Macon and Middle Georgia.

By the end of 2023, the county’s new amphitheater is expected to be completed, and possibly the new Otis Redding Foundation Education Center, but in those early stages, Macon’s oldest and most tried and true venue Some have confirmed that the year is off to an early start.

If you thought you had your first breather of the year after the 2022 holiday season was offered, think again.

To prove it, here are some early highlights, mostly from the world of music and theatre.

— On Monday, January 9, at the Grand Opera House, the National Ballet Theater of Ukraine will present the classic Tchaikovsky ballet “Swan Lake.” This comes just weeks after The Nutcracker of Central Georgia hit the grand stage in Tchaikovsky’s equally famous seasonal ballet.

The Ukrainian National Ballet Theatre’s 55 dancers have won acclaimed performances across Europe and are now performing to Macon and the United States, according to Grand’s Julia Ruben.

“They’ve performed here before and I know a lot of people are looking forward to this performance,” she said. It’s a great production and it’s great that a professional company offers such great family entertainment. ”

Tickets and information are available at, but Elle Woods will also perform nationally on Broadway: Legally Blonde – The Musical on Thursday and Friday, January 12-13. So not only did the Grand have a string of ballets, but it now has a string of professional touring stage shows.

But that’s not all. Part of the ‘much more’ at Grand is a shift from classical music and dance to classic rock, but with a twist.

On January 21st, Johnny “Jaymo” Johnson, founder of the Allman Brothers Band, unveiled the “Big Band of Brothers: The Allman Brothers Jazz” on stage where the Allman Brothers often performed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. bring a celebration. The show is based on the album of the same name and features a list of notable jazz luminaries and guest his artists who breathe new life into The Brothers’ songs in another dimension.

— Jaimoe’s appearance at the Grand provides a hometown flare, but so does Robert Lee Johnson’s appearance at Grant’s Lounge on Saturday. Macon’s Blues guitarist is known nationally as a pioneer of soul and funk, supporting Percy Sledge, James Brown and others.

There’s always something going on at Grant’s, but on Thursday, January 12th, two important national touring acts took to the stage, a good sign that more and more acts of their kind are heading in this direction. increase. Tyler Bryant, Shakedown and GA-20. If you keep an eye on guitar magazines, in the last few months his GA-20 has graced several covers. The relatively new Boston-based blues outfit is doing well on the Billboard charts, proving the long-lived power of Chicago blues.

But if you follow a rock band from Nashville that has a long history and has a guitarist from Texas on tour, or you follow a guitarist who has a huge following on social media like Instagram. If so, you may know or follow Tyler Bryant.

Playing since age 6 and playing steadily since age 13, Bryant was hailed as a guitar prodigy by the likes of Eric Clapton and Vince Gill, and won the Robert Johnson Foundation Blues Guitarist of the Year Award. But personally, I didn’t know him that way, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s one of the many guitarists I’ve seen more of on Instagram. was To me, he was someone I listened to, followed, and continued to enjoy.

And now, the two bands’ tour takes them to Macon and Grant, given their history and Bryant’s classic blues-rock virtuosity.

Appropriately, I reached out to Bryant through social media.

“I’m excited to be coming to Macon to play music,” he texted me. “Georgia is responsible for much of our favorite music and we can’t wait to put our hats on and play some rock ‘n’ roll and have a good time. We’ve been lucky enough to play all over the world. But it’s always good to be able to play in the South.”

Although it was Macon’s first time for the band, Bryant has worked with Jeff Beck, Aerosmith, Hart, Paul Simon, and B.A. in a long touring career. The clearest answer Bryant in his late 20s, who has been touring since his early teens, could give was, “I think so.”

Check out Bryant and the Band online, and if you like music drawn from a particular style and era, you can’t miss a show.

By the way, the Boston band wasn’t named after a highway in Georgia. The name comes from a classical guitar amplifier manufactured by Gibson Guitars in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

For tickets and other grant information, please visit For bands, visit and

— The Hargley Capitol Theater is a testament to the ever-increasing level of touring artists coming to town.

On January 21st, Charlie Starr will appear with Benji Shanks. The star is one of the national supporters who represent Southern rock in his band’s style.He is the frontman and guitarist of Blackberry Smoke.

And on January 28th, Samantha Fish will be at the Capitol. Fish is connected to Macon through his duet with Devon Allman and his connection with the Allman Family Reunion Tour. It’s appropriate and says something, but you can’t pigeonhole Fish there because she’s jumping musical genres. Vincent. A fish that stands on its own forever is worth seeing.

For more information on the Houses of Parliament, please visit

The next few days, and this year, have plenty of offers at both small and large venues, and more to come in the days to come, but as February arrives, local talent will be making their way to the month of Macon. There’s no stopping as we hit the grand stage in the first week of the Civic Club’s annual musical revue, and on February 13th, the Macon Mercer Symphony Orchestra.

Then there’s the important event that will help those in the music industry, not entertainment per se, connect Macon’s musical heritage and future. A gathering of successful professionals. Among them is Nashville producer Steve His Ivy, a multi-award-winning Mercer University alumnus who has scored his 17th #1 on the Billboard charts.

This event is limited to 125 attendees, so visit for information and register early.

Please contact writer Michael W. Pannell at

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