ALTONRiver Bend, a traditional 5-piece bluegrass band, is kicking off Jacoby Arts Center’s 2016 performing arts series 7:00 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23. The evening marks the band’s first performance of the year.

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Formed in 2015 in the heart of the Midwest, River Bend is dedicated to the performance and preservation of the “High-Lonesome Sound,” playing original music as well as classic bluegrass standards and bluegrass rarities. With soaring tenor harmonies, driving instrumentation and the classic bluegrass groove, the group recalls the voices of Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Vern Williams, Red Allen and more.

The band is donating all proceeds from the show back to JAC.

“Jacoby is a great resource for artists of all media. We like the venue and we just want to give back to the community,” said Matt McGibany, who plays the fiddle. “Plus we’re all enthusiasts of buy local and local bands.”

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Dennis Scarborough, president of Jacoby Board of Directors said he was thrilled by the band’s “instinctive generosity to share their traditional bluegrass artistry for the benefit of Jacoby Arts Center and for the enjoyment of our whole community. This is going to be an evening of great music, a celebration of homegrown talent, and a tribute to the giving culture that is creating a renaissance in downtown Alton.”

In listening to River Bend, the audience also will be treated to Dustin Greer on guitar, Andy Novara on mandolin, Kris Shewmake on banjo and Will Miskall on upright bass. The members share the vocals.

River Bend plays The Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis on March 12. They’ll open for the Del McCoury Band and Sierra Hull. In addition, the band is giving away a pair of tickets to the show the night of the JAC performance.

For more information about the band, visit their website at

Attendees are also welcome to view two “Currents” sections in the east gallery. The two are 40-foot sections of a 300-foot textile piece titled Riverwork Project by Sun Smith-Foret. The project, headed by Smith-Foret, includes insets by multiple regional artists. Riverwork Project is on display through February.

Tickets for all Jacoby Arts Center performances are $10 unless otherwise noted. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis and doors open 30 minutes in advance. Cash bar and edibles provided by local chefs and bakers.

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