The United States Air Force Band
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble
The United States Air Force Band of Mid-America Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble is an 18-piece big band with a diverse repertoire of traditional swing, bebop, modern jazz, vocal selections, and the music of this great nation. During concerts, you may hear innovative, contemporary jazz works as well as the classic sounds of Count Basie or Glenn Miller. Several of the band's members are also gifted writers and arrangers, and their compositions are often featured.
The Shades of Blue has backed many jazz greats, including Sammy Nestico, Bobby Shew, Toni Tennille, Tex Benecke, Denis DiBlasio, Jamey Aebersold, Mike Smith, Allen Vizzutti, Jeff Jarvis, Shelley Berg, Joe Morello, and Carmen Bradford. The band also regularly performs and teaches masterclasses at high school and collegiate jazz clinics and festivals throughout the Midwest.
Occasionally, this diverse ensemble marches onto home plate or center court to play the national anthem for professional sports teams like the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Bulls, and the Milwaukee Bucks. In tribute to the Air Force's rich musical heritage, the band collaborated with actor Wilford Brimley on a highly acclaimed salute to Major Glenn Miller. Additionally, the Shades of Blue recorded several tracks for Macy's annual Independence Day celebration in New York City. These recordings reached millions of Americans when they tuned into NBC Television's national broadcast of the 2004 Macy's Fireworks Spectacular.
Whether performing for a head of state, before a capacity crowd in northern Wisconsin, or for our troops at home and abroad, the Shades of Blue reflects the heritage and pride of our great nation and represents the excellence found every day throughout the United States Air Force.