“It doesn’t matter what kind of bag you put them in, jazz or dance, the Airmen of Note always come out swinging. This is one band you won’t want to miss.” – Count Basie
Sounds of Glenn Miller. A brassy trumpet solo. Big band music at its best.
And you can hear it next Saturday when the Airmen of Note from Washington, D.C., take the stage at the Lyric Theater.
The premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force, the Note was created in 1950 to carry on the style of Glenn Miller’s Army Air Corps dance band.
The group adopted a more contemporary style in the mid-50s under the direction of the legendary Sammy Nestico.
I’ve listened to some recordings by the group and its good music that takes you back to the good swing time. I’m sure much time and effort play a major role in the quality performances made by this group.
Music is a special part of my life, and I always thought I was born in the wrong era. Recently several biographical movies on the lives of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Harry James were on television.
I remember growing up listening to the big band sounds on records in my home and dreaming about how great it would have been to have played trumpet in those bands.
The years I studied for my music degree were fun. Some of the other required courses took effort, but the music classes were fun. My college band was a really good one, and we had a stage band as well as the regular concert and marching bands.
I guess stage band was the closest I’ll ever come to my dream because my animals don’t particularly care to hear me playing these days out in the country.
If it involves music and trumpets, I’m sold. In some of the information we received at the office on the group’s upcoming Tupelo performance, I found that the Airmen of Note is one of the few touring big bands left in the country.
As a result, the group has attracted 18 of the finest musicians in the country, each one a soloist in his own right. The newest addition to the Airmen of Note is Tech. Sgt. Tracey Wright, who captivates audiences as a jazz vocalist in jazz standards, blues, swing, ballads and rhythm and blues.
The Note tours the United States twice a year performing community relations concerts in the spring and fall. Recently, the group also has toured throughout Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Panama and Japan.
As the direct descendant of Glenn Miller’s Army Air Corps orchestra, the Airmen of Note continues to preserve its proud Miller heritage with an extensive repertoire of authentic Miller selections.
You can be a part of this memorable event for Memorial Day weekend Saturday, May 25, at the Lyric Theater on North Broadway in Tupelo. The 7 p.m. performance is sponsored by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
Admission is free with no reserved seats. Requests for tickets will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket holders are requested to be seated 15 minutes prior to the performance.
Tickets are still available at the Journal office front desk, 1655 S. Green St., Tupelo.
I hope you’ll be our guests for a swingin’ good evening of big band jazz. As Count Basie says, “This is one band you won’t want to miss.”
Charlotte Wolfe is managing editor of the Daily Journal.