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ALTON - The Alton Jazz & Wine Festival continues to grow each year and once again Saturday night, it showcased some incredible talent, both from the area and also with some nationally recognized artists.

Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater Chair Dan Herkert said you couldn’t have asked for better weather and such a great crowd.

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“I am an old trumpet player and the Alton Jazz Confluence Band already blows me out of the water," Herkert said. "They are tremendous.

“This is the birthplace of Miles Davis and we always hold trumpet players in the highest esteem. The Jazz & Wine Festival has been growing every year. We have some absolutely amazing performers this year. I don’t think there is a better outdoor venue than the Alton Amphitheater. For jazz, it is the best setup I have seen.”

Ken Whiteside has been affiliated with the Alton Jazz & Wine Festival since it began in 2017 and said he thought the performances were outstanding on Saturday night.

The Alton Jazz Confluence Band, featuring up-and-coming Alton/Godfrey student musicians, kicked off this year’s festival in style. The Kendrick Smith and Trio Nexus followed the Alton Jazz Confluence Band. East St. Louis native pianist Reginald J. Thomas and his wife, Madra, were also show-stoppers at the Jazz & Wine Festival.

The Alton Jazz & Wine Festival is always a celebration of Jazz phenom Miles Davis, who was born in the city on May 26, 1926. He always talked about Alton being his birthplace while on tour.