Monday, March 16, 2009

Miles Davis Jazz Festival to open
new Alton amphitheater on Saturday, May 16

The fourth annual Miles Davis Jazz Festival on Saturday, May 16 will be the official inaugural event for the new amphitheater on the riverfront in Alton, Illinois.

Saxophonist Willie Akins (pictured) and trumpeter Jim Manley will headline the event, which starts with opening ceremonies at noon and continues until 6:30 p.m. Other performers will include saxophonist Michael Anthony Fitzgerald with guitarist Brian White, the Scott Air Force Base Big Band, and drummer Howard Neal. Tickets for the Miles Davis Jazz Festival (a.k.a. the Miles Davis Jazz Celebration) are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate on the day of the show.

In related news, according to an article by Linda N. Weller in the Alton Telegraph, the city of Alton is looking for a outside producer to book concerts into the new facility:
"An unnamed, citizens-city committee has interviewed four music promotion companies about bringing larger-scale entertainment to the new Riverfront Park amphitheater...

...Unlike some other towns in the area, Alton officials' philosophy is that they will work with individuals and entities wanting to bring entertainment to the park - and people who are experienced in marketing and selling tickets - but not set up city-sponsored concerts.

"The city does not want to be in the business of promoting commercial entertainment," (Alton director of development and housing Phil) Roggio said. The city's priorities are to assist with the events, provide the facility and break even on its expenses for maintenance, electricity, traffic control and any after-event cleanup."

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