What is the USAF Band of Flight?
Some of the following may not be 100% accurate but are based on conversations, web surfing and observations that formed my impressions, I apologize for any inaccuracies.
The USAF Band of Flight is comprised of active duty Air Force members and is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio and one of the oldest bands in the Air Force. It is one of the oldest bands in the Air Force; The Band of Flight has an unbroken record of service since its formation and shares with only The United States Air Force Band, Bolling AFB DC, the distinction of having remained at its original location for its entire history.
The band was activated on 24 September 1942 at Patterson Field (later Wright-Patterson AFB), Ohio as the 361st Army Air Force Band. Between 1942 and 1948 the Band was redesignated three times: as the 661st Army Band, then as the 661st Army Air Force Band, and finally as the 661st Air Force Band on 2 January 1948, not quite four months after the Air Force became a separate branch of service. The band was redesignated as The Air Force Band of Flight in 1991 with the mission of delivering world-class music that inspires emotions, creates positive impressions and communicates information according to Air Force objectives.
Recently I had heard the Band of Flight would be leaving our area due to cut-backs in the military budget but fortunately for us, this is not true. They have downsized into what I have been told is a leaner, meaner group along with a couple of very versatile combos, which are now all led by non-commissioned officers. The New “Band of Flight” under the direction of Chief Master Sergeant Eric M. Strohecker is a 14-member ensemble that provides top-notch, high-energy entertainment for the whole family. The “Wright Brass” led by Master Sergeant Michael Richter is a brass quintet with a percussionist. “Systems Go” is a popular music combo led by MSgt Tom Shriver performing many genres of music.
Many Band of Flight members both past and present have made a tremendous impact on our local jazz scene. A couple of years ago I met Cameron at Jazz Central where he was a regular part of their jazz jams for a period of time. One thing led to another and he helped me book the Band of Flight Nighthawk Jazz Combo (one of the groups of which he was a member), for Jazz Advocate’s 2011 Jazz & Peace Festival that we held in Centerville at Stubbs Park. Many of the jazz events that I attend are enhanced and enriched by these wonderful artists.
Here are some (not all) of the upcoming jazz events for the next couple of weeks:
Today Wednesday, July 3 – The USAF Band of Flight has a Summer Concert at Kings Island Amusement Park and Todd Hepburn is at Arnold’s Bar & Grill in Cincinnati.
Thursday July 4 – There’s a Jam Session hosted by Chay Buddah & Hott2def at Bankshots Sports Bar & Grill in Trotwood and a Band of Flight Summer Concert in Rotary Park in Beavercreek.
Friday July 5 – Teresa Hunt with The Jazz Patrol will be at De’Lish in Dayton and the Shawn Stanley Trio performs every Friday at Carvers Steaks & Chops in Centerville, Ohio.
Saturday July 6 – You can spend an intimate evening of jazz and coffee at Ghostlight in Dayton and James & Moore will be at the C’est Tout Bistro in Oakwood.
Sunday July 7 – A Funk Tribute to Mark Adams & Mark Drac Hicks of Slave will take place at Gilly’s in Dayton.
Monday July 8 – The John Taylor Trio is at Brio Tuscan Grille in Beavercreek and Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra is at the Clintonville Woman’s Club in Columbus.
Tuesday July 9 – The Ron Purdon Orchestra performs at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati and the Part St. Tavern Jazz Jam continues in Columbus.
Wednesday July 10 –The US Air Force Band of Flight performs at the Fraze Pavilion and Ricky Nye is at Chez Nora in Covington, KY.
Thursday July 11 – Cameron Voorhees and the Generations Big Band will perform at Hope Community Arts Center located inside Hope Church in the South Park Neighborhood in Dayton.
Friday July 12 – The Different Hats Jazz Jam is at the Earl Heck Community Center in Englewood and the John Von Ohlen Trio is at Dee Felice in Covington, KY.
Saturday July 13 – The Bobby Floyd Trio is at Boudin’s Bistro & Jazz Club and Andrew Waters is at the Eastern Palace Restaurant both in Columbus.
OH.Sunday July 14 – Dayton’s longest running Jazz Jam Session with Kenny Baccus and John Hampton Wagner continues every Sunday at Jazz Central in Dayton.
Monday July 15 – Mark Flugge, Derek Dicenzo & Jimmy Castoe are at Due Amici and Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra is at the Clintonville Woman’s Club in Columbus.
Tuesday July 16 – The Ed Moss & the Society Jazz Orchestra performs at the Schwartz Point Jazz Club and The Greenwich has Green Street Jam Session both in Cincinnati.
More info and jazz listings can be found at JazzAdvocate.com
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