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Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People perform with special guest Nicholas Payton on trumpet for the inaugural Salida JazzFest (photo by Joe Stone).

The inaugural Salida JazzFest attracted a large crowd to Riverside Park Saturday in spite of the threat of rain. The festival ended with a bang, literally, as Salida firefighters launched the Fourth of July fireworks display that was rescheduled because of fire restrictions during July.

The JazzFest lineup included Nicholas Payton, Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People, Unconventional Wisdom, Dick Cunico and 21/3, Equinox, Ostevetto and the Colorado Mountain College Jazz Project big band.

Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People, along with Nicholas Payton, headlined the festival. Hailed as a virtuoso before he graduated from high school, Payton plays trumpet and is widely considered one of the greatest musical artists of our time. Payton’s accolades include serving as a distinguished artist and visiting lecturer at Tulane University.

Grammy nominee Gerry Gibbs is a drummer, producer, band leader, composer and arranger. As a solo artist, Gibbs has released nine albums. His first, “Gerry Gibbs Sextet – The Thrasher,” features Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and Executive Producer Quincy Jones. His three most recent recordings feature jazz greats Ron Carter and Kenny Barron, and all of the recordings topped the National Jazz Radio Charts with“The Thrasher Dream Trio” receiving a Grammy nomination.

A large crowd listens to Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Band with special guest Nicholas Payton at the inaugural Salida JazzFest in Riverside Park (photo by Joe Stone).