The Jazz Ambassadors, an ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will appear at SUNY Oswego in a free, ticketed concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Hewitt Union ballroom to deliver their message of patriotism and goodwill through jazz and other swing-related music.
The 19-member ensemble performs in a wide range of musical genres in addition to jazz. These include big band swing, bebop, Latin contemporary jazz, standard, popular tunes, Dixieland and patriotic. Members of the ensemble compose or adapt much of the group’s music. The repertoire at SUNY Oswego will include selections from a wide variety of jazz greats, plus patriotic favorites and a salute to veterans.
At the Hewitt Union concert, three students will perform one selection with the Jazz Ambassadors, according to Trevor Jorgensen of Oswego’s music department faculty. The ensemble’s members will provide master classes for students from both the college and local high school jazz ensembles.
The Jazz Ambassadors’ current concert tour began March 11 and ends April 16—with only five days of rest—taking them to SUNY schools, high schools and theaters. The ensemble’s reputation and demanding tour schedule have earned it the nickname “America’s Big Band.”
The group has played in well-known venues such as the Toronto and Newport jazz festivals, and often has performed joint concerts with regional orchestras that include the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic and the former Syracuse Symphony.
Army Field Commander Maj. Hal Gibson created the ensemble in 1969 as the Studio Band. Its name changed a decade later to the Jazz Ambassadors, and members have lived up to the title by performing over the years in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and throughout Europe.
Candidates for the group come from leading conservatories, universities and the professional ranks, and undergo a highly competitive audition process. Many of the current members have extensive experience in civilian performance.
Tickets—all general admission—are available at SUNY Oswego box offices or by calling 315-312-2141. [CORRECTED 3-20-14.]
Parking for those attending this concert is available in the lot in front of Culkin Hall, the rear half of the lot behind Hart and Funnelle residence halls and in the adjacent commuter lot. Doors to the ballroom will open at 7 p.m.
(Posted: Mar 17, 2014)