Mardra and Reggie Thomas headline Alton Jazz and Wine Festival

ALTON — The Alton Jazz & Wine Festival returns to Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater on Saturday, Sept. 3, with gates opening at 6 p.m.

“The Alton Amphitheater Commission is excited to again bring great jazz to Liberty Bank Amphitheater with this popular and growing event,” said Dan Herkert,

 Amphitheater Commission Chair. “We’re particularly proud to again feature some of our local student musicians at the beginning of the festival.”

“We are also thrilled to bring back the intimate jazz club setting where tables will be on the stage surrounding the artists as they perform,

 continued Herkert. “This set-up, first utilized at last year’s festival, proved to be extremely popular and sold out quickly.” 

The Alton Jazz Confluence featuring up and coming Alton/Godfrey student musicians will again kick off this year’s festival followed by The Kendrick Smith Trio.

Saxophonist, composer and educator Kendrick Smith was born and raised in East St. Louis. He began playing in grade school, 

developing his skills much earlier than many musicians.

Following his study at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, under the tutelage of pianist Reggie Thomas, Smith secured a residency at St. Louis’s Premier Lounge.

 The St. Louis American billed him as “Baby Bird,” a reference to iconic saxophonist Charlie Parker, and a New York Times review stated,

Kendrick Smith was playing the alto saxophone like his life depended on it!” He's been called one of the emerging pillars of the St. Louis music scene.