The U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors concert at Northwestern College on Tuesday, Nov. 6, will showcase a wide variety of music, including big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, Dixieland and patriotic selections.
The concert, in Christ Chapel at 7:30 p.m., is free and sponsored by Northwestern College and the Orange City Arts Council. Tickets may be obtained at Northwestern’s DeWitt Music Hall, Orange City’s Town Hall and the Dove Bookstore in Orange City. To receive tickets by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to Nora Verburg, Northwestern College Music Department, 101 7th St. SW, Orange City, IA 51041.
The Washington-based ensemble will perform works by Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones, Ernie Wilkins’ “Basie Power,” “Interloper” by Thad Jones, Anthony Newly and Leslie Bricusse’s “Feeling Good,” a variety of selections portraying a visit to New Orleans, and a salute to U.S. armed forces, among others.
Master Sgt. Marva Lewis will be the featured vocalist on “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” Originally a petroleum supply specialist during the Persian Gulf War, she was “discovered” while singing karaoke at a unit function in Korea. She was subsequently selected to perform at bases around the world with the Army Soldier Show and became a vocalist with the First Cavalry Division Band and the Jazz Knights of the U.S. Military Academy Band. She has been with the Jazz Ambassadors for 13 years.
The 19-member ensemble is conducted by Chief Warrant Officer William McCulloch, who enlisted in the Army in 1991 as a percussionist and was appointed a bandmaster in 2000. He has served with Army bands in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Kentucky, New York and Virginia.
The Jazz Ambassadors, formed in 1969, serves as the premier touring big band for the Army. The ensemble has performed at several of the world’s largest jazz festivals and travels thousands of miles each year throughout the nation and abroad.