Big band jazz is coming to town

The Ledger Independent

The internationally acclaimed U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors of Washington D.C. will continue a long history of public performances by appearing in Fields Auditorium at Maysville Community and Technical College at 7 p.m. March 28.

The concert is sponsored by MCTC and The Ledger Independent.

"We are very pleased to be working with the U.S. Army Field Band and MCTC to host the Jazz Ambassadors in March," said Ledger Independent Publisher Bob Hendrickson. "We cosponsored a visit by the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight several years ago, and it was a wonderful night of music and patriotism. I know the Jazz Ambassadors will stage an equally exciting show."

Fields Auditorium is a popular arena for community arts programs. Gwyn Gallenstein, who works for Community and Economic Development at MCTC said the college is committed to serving the public.

"MCTC is always pleased to have the opportunity to partner with area groups so that we may provide cultural arts for our community," Gallenstein said.

The Jazz Ambassadors band is the United States Army’s premier touring jazz orchestra and one of the finest jazz ensembles in the world. This 19-member big band, formed in 1969, continues to receive great acclaim both at home and abroad performing America’s original art form, jazz.

Sgt. Ed Padilla, spokesman for the band, said the band has played in several cities across Kentucky, but this is the first time it will be playing in Maysville. However, playing in a small town agrees with the band.

"We normally get better reception in small towns," Padilla said. "The audience is very appreciative and usually more patriotic."

A more intimate audience, Padilla said, will usually get more involved with the concert.

"The group gets into it and it is a lot of fun," Padilla said.

The Army band has also appeared with the Detroit, Pittsburgh and Baltimore symphony orchestras.

The band has received accolades from the audience as well as music icons. Composer Marvin Hamlisch exclaimed, "I can’t think of better ambassadors for our country."

The Jazz Ambassadors have also been featured at some of the largest jazz festivals in the world, including the Montreux, North Sea, and Newport festivals. The band has performed in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, and across Europe.

Concerts by the Jazz Ambassadors are designed to entertain all types of audiences. Many of the Jazz Ambassadors’ members arrange and compose specifically for the ensemble, highlighting the group’s creative talent and gifted soloists. Their diverse repertoire includes big band swing, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland and patriotic selections.

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