U.S. Army's Jazz Ambassadors To Perform At Baylor Oct. 21

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The U.S. Army's Jazz Ambassadors
Oct. 18, 2004

by Richard Veit

The Jazz Ambassadors, the United States Army's premiere touring jazz orchestra, will perform on the Baylor University campus at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building.

The immensely talented, 19-piece ensemble has received great acclaim, both at home and abroad, performing America's original art form, jazz. Organized in 1969, the Jazz Ambassadors are now in their 35th year of entertaining audiences of all types with a diverse repertoire that includes big-band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals and patriotic selections. Custom compositions and arrangements highlight the group's creative talent and gifted soloists.

The band has appeared in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and throughout Europe. Notable performances include concerts at international jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland; Newport, R.I.; Toronto; Brussels; and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. In 1995, the Jazz Ambassadors performed in England, Wales, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. The band also has been featured in unique joint concerts with major orchestras, including the Detroit and Baltimore symphonies.

The featured vocalist is Sgt. Marva Lewis, who has served as principal singer for the Jazz Knights at the United States Military Academy, the Soldier Show and the Wiley College A Cappella Choir. She is a veteran of the Gulf War, Desert Storm and Desert Shield with the First Cavalry Division.

The performance will be under the baton of CWO Kevin Laird, a 26-year Army veteran who has served as director of the Jazz Ambassadors since August 2000.

Sponsored by the Baylor School of Music and the Waco Tribune-Herald, the concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call (254) 710-3991.

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