Three Mississippi State University students will join the U.S. Army Field Band, pictured, for a number during Wednesday’s concert at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall on the MSU campus. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Photo by: Courtesy photo
November 8, 2014 10:09:49 PM
The internationally-acclaimed official touring big band of the United States Army, known for its long tradition of free public performances, will present a Wednesday evening concert at Mississippi State University.
Free and open to all, the 7:30 p.m. performance by the U.S. Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors of Washington, D.C., takes place in historic Lee Hall's Bettersworth Auditorium.
Although admission is free, tickets are required and may be obtained from event co-sponsors at the MSU Band Hall on Hardy Road, G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans on Magruder Street, or at the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau main office in downtown Starkville.
Formed in 1969, the 19-member ensemble considered one of the elite jazz ensembles in the country also has received great acclaim abroad for its jazz performances.
The band's diverse repertoire includes big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals, and patriotic selections, many of which are written or arranged by members of the Jazz Ambassadors.
Having performed in all 50 states as well as Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and Europe, the Jazz Ambassadors' rigorous touring schedule and reputation for excellence has led to the group's designation as "America's Big Band." Recent notable performances include concerts at the Toronto Jazz Festival, Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont, Kennedy Center Honors, Jazz Education Network Conference, along with an appearance on "The Colbert Report."
The band has been featured in joint concerts with Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Pops, Colorado Pops Orchestra and New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. For more, see armyfieldband.com.
Clifton Taylor, associate director of bands and director of the MSU Jazz Band, encouraged members of the campus and surrounding communities to take advantage of the opportunity to hear a live performance by a professional big band comprised of "some of the finest jazz musicians in America."
"In addition to their main mission of representing the U.S. Army through their performances, the Ambassadors are also strongly committed to jazz education," Taylor said of the group.
Along with providing students with one-on-one instruction during Taylor's Wednesday afternoon jazz ensemble classes, members of the Jazz Ambassadors also have extended the opportunity for three MSU students to join them on stage for one tune during Wednesday's concert.
"As a performer of jazz, I'm excited for the opportunity to be around these great players," Taylor said, adding that the prestigious group "inspires me and my students to practice more and perform at a higher level."
For additional information, contact the band office at 662-325-2713 or visit msuband.msstate.edu.