The 9th Annual Miles Davis Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday, May 17, 2014, from 5-8 pm at the Jacoby Arts Center, 627 East Broadway, Alton, IL. Tickets are $25 and available Saturday by contacting the Alton Museum of History & Art, the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, or on Facebook at 2014 Miles Davis Jazz Festival, Alton, IL.
The headlining act is the Russell Gunn Trio, with drummer Montez Coleman and bassist Bob DeBoo. Mr. Gunn is twice-Grammy-nominated on trumpet. He is an East St. Louis native who recorded with and won a Pulitzer Prize in music as part of Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s “Blood on the Fields” project. Russell also recorded the 2007 CD “Russell Gunn Plays Miles.”
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“Elektrik Funeral” is Mr. Gunn’s most recent CD (2013), which features Branford Marsalis, Andre Glasper, Andre Hayward, and Fred Wesley. He has also recorded with the late Lou Reed, Maxwell, Cee-Lo Green, Ne-Yo, and most recently, singer Dionne Farris.
Mr. Gunn now resides in Atlanta, GA. Both Mr. Gunn and Mr. Coleman are graduates of Lincoln HS in East St. Louis (Miles Davis’s high school); they were part of Lincoln’s highly-decorated jazz band.
Mr. Coleman recently returned to the area after five years as the high-energy drummer for the Roy Hargrove Quintet in New York City. Mr. DeBoo delighted Festival patrons last year as part of the Marty Morrison Quartet.
Veteran saxophonist Fred Walker, a Festival favorite, will open the show. Mr. Walker, who owns Star City Records in St. Louis, plays smooth jazz with a sweet, almost perfect tone, primarily on soprano and alto. This will be Mr. Walker’s third Festival appearance. His most recent CD is “Intimate Sketches,” released at the end of 2013.
Alt/progressive rock band Locrian Manor will be the Festival’s second act. Singer Donnie Myatt and guitarists Bruce Bonebrake and Jonathan Sterling front this rising act, while drummer Bruce Coplin and bassist Joseph Rather round out the quintet, which has now been together for three years.
A $250 music scholarship will be presented to a deserving high school senior at the Festival, which benefits the Alton Museum of History & Art, a 501(c)(3) organization.
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