The Curry Coastal Pilot

CRESCENT CITY andndash;andensp;The U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West's jazz ensemble, The Commanders, will perform a free concert of classic big band jazz at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds, 421 Highway 101 N.

The concert will feature a variety of styles, from traditional big band swing to Latin and contemporary.

The Commanders is a newly revived ensemble from the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, under the direction of Master Sgt. James Butler.

The band carries on the American musical tradition of the great big bands, yet offers a lot more than the big band sounds. This energetic group of highly trained professional musicians, composed of 20 airmen, delivers the full gamut of jazz music andndash; traditional jazz, cool, bop, swing, Broadway favorites, popular tunes, Latino rhythms, and patriotic music.

A typical evening with The Commanders might include favorites from Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Count Basie, to Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Then throw in the sounds of today's greatest salsa and modern jazz groups, plus American show tunes and pop songs delivered by the group's talented vocalist.

Its renditions of hot jazz standards of any style feature rousing improvised solos from every instrument in the group.

The U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California. As the only remaining active-duty Air Force band west of the Rockies, its geographic area of responsibility includes Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and California. The band has been seen and heard by thousands in performances throughout its touring region.

The Band of the Golden West has performed for gubernatorial inaugurations, with guest artists such as Toni Tennille, Marvin Stamm, and Bob Hope, and for the fans of the Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.