Marne Jazz Combo plays concert at COB Speicher

By Spc. Jessica Rohr
135th Mobile PA Det.

News story photo
Photo credit: Spc. Jessica Rohr, 135th Mobile Public Affairs Det.
The Marne Jazz Combo from the 3rd ID Band gives a free concert to Soldiers, March 14, at COB Speicher
Melodic notes seductively filled the air as jazz music made its way through the shopping complex on the porch of the Green Beans Coffee shop at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, March 14.

Evening temperatures have warmed up and the 3rd Infantry Division Jazz Combo has returned to its bi-weekly schedule.

The twice-a-month performances provide a break from the daily grind.

“Pleasant surprise,” stated Sgt. Paul B. Kelley, 2025th Transportation
Company, 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment
Brigade, as he enjoyed his dinner. “It’s a really good thing. It shows that they love their music and want to share it with other people.”

The Task Force Marne Jazz Combo played a variety of jazz music throughout the evening ranging from “Blue Bossa” to “My little Suede

As combat boots tapped to the music, the Jazz Combo enjoyed what they do best - performing for Soldiers.

“Jazz allows me to be a little more artistic than usual. With jazz you are given more freedom to do whatever, as opposed to playing a rock tune in a cover band. I get to be a little bit more artistic and free with what
I want to do,” passionately expressed Staff Sgt. Jahn, a drummer.

The Jazz Combo, part of the Task Force Marne 3rd ID Band, kicked off
the night with five band members: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan D. Ward – trumpet/ flugelhorn, 1st Sgt. Lester McKinney – keyboard, Staff Sgt. Kevin L. Jahn - drums, Sgt. Juan M. Hinojosa, and Spc. Avery Cody – bass guitar.

Despite the variety in rank, the Jazz Combo has a relationship forged by talent and a love for performing music.

“We have a unique opportunity as a musician to showcase our skills in a way that the Soldiers don’t get to see in other units like the Cavalry,” stated 3rd ID Band commander, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ward. “An infantry commander or platoon leader won’t go out and qualify and show off
his infantry skills to their Soldiers the way we do.

It offers the Soldiers an opportunity to see us [leadership] doing what they do every day.

It also gives us an opportunity to play together. For us it is team building at its highest form.”

“The Task Force Marne Band is the best Army Band in the world,” said Task Force Marne Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Andrews, who came out to show his support for the band. “The
band is a combat multiplier… they are just as lethal with their instruments as our most qualified infantrymen out there with the tip of their spear in our operating environment.

“The band is another added level of motivation and energy for the Soldiers.
When they see these guys on smaller locations who have lesser amenities and commodities … it makes them feel that they are worth it and important enough that the band came and brought them motivation.”

Whether it’s motivation or a little relaxation, the band has got a little something for everyone.

The 3rd ID Band’s diverse musical groups include ceremonial, marching,
concert, stage, and show bands, along with brass and woodwind quintets, and the Jazz Combo.

Even the musicians have a preference in what kind of music they play.
“I like the way Jazz music makes me feel,” said Spc. Cody. “When I hear good music, I get chills in my body.

It can easily uplift someone, make them move the way they move … I like to contribute to that.”

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