The Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble is a group of 18 professional enlisted musicians whose repertoire ranges from traditional big band jazz, to bebop and swing, to modern jazz. At one of their concerts, you are just as likely to hear the music of contemporary composers as you would the classic sounds of Count Basie or Glenn Miller. Several of the band's members are also gifted composers and arrangers, and their compositions are often featured in concert. The band has backed many jazz greats such as Tex Benecke, Denis DiBlasio, Jamey Aebersold, Mike Smith, Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti, Jeff Jarvis, Mike Vax, Vaughn Nark, Bill Porter, Carmen Bradford, Shelley Berg, Joe Morello, Steve Houghton, and Walt Levinsky. Furthermore, the ensemble is often requested for featured performances at jazz clinics and festivals throughout the country.
Occasionally, the Shades of Blue marches onto home plate to perform national anthems for Chicago White Sox games, or onto center court to perform for Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks games. They also pay frequent tribute to the Air Force's musical heritage, and have collaborated with actor Wilford Brimley on a highly acclaimed salute to Major Glenn Miller.
Whether performing for a head of state, before a capacity crowd in northern Wisconsin, or for our troop at home and abroad, the Shades of Blue reflects the heritage and pride of our great nation and the United States Air Force.