BLUE NOTES: U.S. Air Force jazz ensemble to give free concertPublished 7:14pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Patriotism and jazz merge into one performance as the United States Air Force Heritage of America Rhythm in Blue jazz ensemble hits the Turnage stage Saturday night.
Rhythm in Blue is a spin-off of the larger Air Force Band, its 17 members specializing a repertoire that spans jazz, fusion, big-band swing and cutting-edge contemporary music.
“They called me last October and we had purchased the Turnage Theater, and we had presented the whole Air Force Band in the past,” said Joey Toler, executive director of the Beaufort County Arts Council. “When they said they wanted to bring the jazz ensemble and not the whole band, I thought, ‘Perfect. This is perfect for the theater.’”
Since 1941, the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band has been inspiring public patriotism and enhancing esprit de corps among all the U.S. military service branches, according to the band’s website. The musicians are all stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va., and travel throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, presenting over 300 events annually for the general public and in support of Airman morale and protocol events.
The band’s ability to span generations of the jazz genre make it a popular act, Toler said.
“I think they have great appeal to a young and old audience, plus they really are great musicians,” Toler said.
And the best part is the concert is free, Toler added.
“They don’t charge — they don’t charge the presenters and they insist that we do not charge the public,” Toler explained. “But they do insist everyone is required to have a ticket.”
Tickets are available at the Turnage Theater box office today and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for a very limited time on Saturday: an hour before show start. Toler warned that the tickets are going fast.
“Oh, we’ve given away a bunch of tickets. We expect it to be a big house,” Toler said.
Washington High School’s Junior ROTC will present the colors prior to the 7 p.m. concert, and concertgoers are requested to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m.
For more information, call the Turnage box office/Beaufort County Arts Council at 252-946-2504.