The ensemble is a group of 18 professional enlisted musicians whose repertoire ranges from traditional big band jazz to bebop, swing and modern jazz.
At one of their concerts, it is just as likely to hear the music of contemporary composers as the classic sounds of Count Basie or Glenn Miller.
Several of the band’s members are also gifted composers and arrangers, and their compositions are often featured in concert.
The band has backed many jazz greats, such as Tex Benecke, Denis DiBlasio, Jamey Aebersold, Mike Smith, Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti, Jeff Jarvis, Mike Vax, Vaughn Nark, Bill Porter, Cameron Bradford, Shelley Berg, Joe Morello, Steve Houghton and Walt Levinsky.
The ensemble is also often requested for featured performances at jazz clinics and festivals throughout the country.
Occasionally, the Shades of Blue marches onto home plate to perform national anthems for Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball games, or onto center court to perform for Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks National Basketball Association games.
They also frequently pay tribute to the Air Force’s musical heritage, and have collaborated with actor Wilford Brimley on a highly acclaimed salute to Glenn Miller.
The concert is free and open to the public. Tickets may either be printed online for a small service fee or picked up at the ticket booth at 6 p.m. on the night of the event.
For more information about the ensemble, visit bandofmidamerica.af.mil.