The United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors will perform a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Brandon Park Bandshell.
One of the finest big bands in the world today, the Jazz Ambassadors of Washington, D.C., tours thousands of miles each year to promote patriotism and good will for the Army through free public concerts.
The Army's official touring big band has appeared in a variety of high profile contexts, including performances with the Detroit, Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras.
The United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors will perform a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Brandon Park Bandshell. No tickets are necessary.
The Jazz Ambassadors earned high praise for their musical skills following a January 2001 concert at Carnegie Hall with the Cincinnati Pops and maestro Erich Kunzel. The Cincinnati Enquirer said, "The musicianship was superb ... The Jazz Ambassadors are polished and seamless virtuosos."
During a joint performance with the National Symphony Orchestra, conductor Marvin Hamlisch said, "I can't think of better ambassadors for our country."
Several of the world's largest jazz festivals have featured the Jazz Ambassadors, including the North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), the Nice and Vienne Festivals (France), the New York Jazz Rally (Belgium), the Toronto Jazz Festival (Canada) and the Detroit Montreux, Chicago, Wichita and Jacksonville jazz festivals.
In 1989, the Jazz Ambassadors became the first military band ever to perform on the main stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In addition, the International Association of Jazz Educators, which unites thousands of jazz enthusiasts from around the world, regularly showcases the Jazz Ambassadors at its annual convention.
A highly competitive audition process draws candidates from leading conservatories, universities and the professional ranks. Many members of the Jazz Ambassadors have extensive civilian performance experience, including recordings, movie and television soundtracks and performances with major jazz and popular music artists. Alumni have gone on to careers in university teaching, studio recording and performance.
Maj. Hal Gibson, commander of the Field Band, formed the Studio Band in 1969 in response to an increased demand for jazz orchestra performances. The Studio Band then became the Army's premier touring jazz ensemble, and was renamed the Jazz Ambassadors in 1979.
Throughout its history, the Jazz Ambassadors has traveled to all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Two important overseas tours in 1989 helped to commemorate the ensemble's 20th year of touring. A month-long trip to India included performances in New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Madras, Calcutta and Bombay.
At the invitation of the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society, the Jazz Ambassadors conducted a wellreceived 10-day tour of Japan in 1993, complete with authentic World War II uniforms.
Concerts by the Jazz Ambassadors are designed to entertain all types of audiences. Many of the ensemble's members arrange and compose music highlighting the group's creative talent and gifted soloists. Their diverse repertoire includes big band swing, Latin music, contemporary jazz, bebop, standards, popular tunes, dixieland, and patriotic selections. Wherever they travel, the Jazz Ambassadors proudly carry the message of patriotism and goodwill to audiences worldwide.