ALTON - After a successful Food Truck Festival last week, Alton Amphitheater is riding that momentum with another big event this weekend.

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The Alton Jazz & Wine Festival invites community members to enjoy an evening of jazz music and a selection of wines from 6–10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2.

“It’s a relaxing evening,” Dan Herkert, chair of the Alton Amphitheater Commission, said. “It’s an affordable evening, which is what we try to do. You’ll have a great time.”

Three jazz groups will take the stage at the Alton Amphitheater throughout the evening as the audience sips and listens. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the Alton Jazz Confluence will start things off at 6:30 p.m. The Alton Jazz Confluence is a jazz group from Alton High School. Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville Jazz Program Director Jason Swagler and his group Weather Forever will follow at 7:15, and then the Trumpet Trio of Dawn Weber, Kasimu Taylor and Danny Campbell go on at 8:45 p.m.

Ken Whiteside developed this year’s lineup. Whiteside has played a big role behind-the-scenes since the festival’s beginning approximately five years ago. The Commission hopes he will also serve as the emcee this year.

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Herkert, a trumpet player himself, noted his love for jazz, calling it “the true American form of music.” He joked that he was a bit less informed on the wine side of the festival, but promised there was something for everyone — including beer and soda if wine isn’t your cup of tea.

“We do a pretty wide selection, both reds and whites. I’m no big wine connoisseur, so don’t ask me a lot of details,” he laughed.

General admission tickets are $5. You can also purchase a spot at the tables on the stage; snag a four-top for $80 or a two-top for $40. Herkert added that the festival is a great place for an intimate but affordable date night.

“You’ll feel like you’re sitting at a real jazz club,” he said. “It gives it a nice ambiance to go along with the music.”

For more information about the Alton Jazz and Wine Festival, visit the event page online at the Alton Amphitheater’s official website. One week later, the Alton Expo will keep the excitement going with fair food, carnival rides and live entertainment from Sept. 7–10.

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