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Rhythm in Blue jazz ensemble honors veterans at free concert
Star - 1/30/2019
Jan. 30--A 13-piece jazz ensemble honors veterans each time they perform.
Rhythm in Blue, presented by the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, showcases talent of professional musicians at shows throughout the eastern United States. They're stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, they perform at The Foundation Performing Arts Center on the campus of Isothermal Community College, 286 ICC Loop Road, Spindale. The auditorium seats 1,300 people and tickets are free.
Tech. Sgt. Caleb R. Sanders serves as bandleader and audio engineer. During the performances, he's in the audience making sure everything sounds great. He enjoys watching audiences react to hearing the music. He says listeners often say it's better than they expected.
"There's a lot of original jazz pieces in a variety of styles, from easy listening stuff through some swing and almost pushing into some bebop type of jazz," Sanders said.
The performers are Air Force enlisted professional musicians. Most have bachelor's degrees in music. They perform a number of patriotic selections and are preparing for a recording session in May.
"There really aren't a lot of touring big bands anymore. It's nice to be able to keep that piece of our heritage alive," he said.
Staff Sgt. Melissa Lackore sings on at least three songs. Maybe four, depending on how loud the audience claps.
Veterans in the audience will be honored at the concert. Sanders said the musicians like to mention veterans several times throughout the program.
"It's a great way to recognize the members in the community who have served and point them out to fellow community members," he said.
For free tickets to the concert, visit FoundationShows.org or call the box office at 828-286-9990.
You can reach Wade Allen at 704-669-3331 and follow him on Twitter @wadeallenstar.
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