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Army Jazz Ambassadors to perform free concert April 2 in Bemidji

Directed by Chief Warrant Officer Gordon K. Kippola (front left), the United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors will perform a free concert April 2 at the Bemidji High School Auditorium.

The U.S. Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. April 2 in the Bemidji High School Auditorium.

The concert is sponsored by a partnership between the Bemidji Pioneer and Paul Bunyan Broadcasting. Tickets are free and will be available beginning at 8 a.m. Monday at the Pioneer and Paul Bunyan Broadcasting offices.

"We really like to bring this to the community," said Pioneer Publisher Dennis Doeden. "The feedback has been positive."

Under the direction of Chief Warrant Officer Gordon Kippola, the band will play a variety of popular jazz compositions ranging from patriotic to folk, swing, Latin, bebop and Dixieland.

The concert will open with the entrance of a color guard made up of area veterans to present the colors and the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner."

The "Armed Forces Salute" will also honor veterans as the band plays the themes from the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and Army songs. As the band plays the music that identifies each branch of the military veterans from that branch will stand.

"It's a great way to let the community honor them, as well," Doeden said. "You can see in their eyes how much it means to them to be recognized, not only by the band, but by the community."

The band has also invited three local music students to come on stage and play with the Army musicians for one song.

The Jazz Ambassadors is the Army's premier touring jazz orchestra. The band was formed in 1969 to travel and perform, both nationally and abroad. Many of the approximately 30 musicians are composers and arrangers, so the music highlights the group's and soloists' particular talents.

The mission of the United States Army Field Band is to "carry into the grassroots of our country the story of our magnifi cent Army."

In performances across America and throughout the world, the men and women of this organization take great pride in refl ecting the excellence of all our nation's soldiers.