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Shades of Blue

Based at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, the "Shades of Blue" jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America will be performing in Columbia Park later this month.

Each year, the City of Park Hills’ Parks and Recreation Department hosts a summer concert series in Columbia Park for area residents free of charge.

The previously announced series lineup has had one special addition this year: the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America’s “Shades of Blue” Jazz Ensemble, which is scheduled to perform at 6 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Based out of Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, the Shades of Blue is a group of 13 professional musicians whose music “inspires patriotism, connects communities with military service members and honors our country’s veterans,” according to a release from the ensemble.

A performance of the Shades of Blue ensemble can include pieces by contemporary jazz composers, Count Basie or Maj. Glenn Miller. The band features instrumental and vocal soloists and compositions/arrangements by the members of the band.

Shades of Blue has performed at Chicago White Sox games, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks games, at various jazz clinics and festivals and for troops at home and abroad.

Park Hills Parks and Recreation Director Dooley Politte said the city is thrilled to be hosting the ensemble, and that the performance will be one that people will not want to miss.

In case of inclement weather, Politte said the concert will be held in Central High School’s auditorium.

According to the USAF Band of Mid-American’s web site, the mission of the band is to serve in its 10-state coverage area to accomplish several goals:

“Through the universal language of music, we communicate U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense messages, making lasting connections with our audiences. Our community and civic outreach performances serve to instill patriotism, build partnerships, enhance the reputation of the Air Force and the United States, and demonstrate American values to the world.

"We honor all who have nobly served in the United States Armed Forces by commemorating the contributions of our nation's veterans - past and present - both at home and in deployed locations around the world.

"We inspire diverse audiences by displaying the highest level of professionalism, epitomizing military precision and excellence, telling the Air Force story and presenting the finest in musical culture and entertainment.

"We serve as a dynamic element to recruit our nation's best and brightest to serve in the United States Air Force. In partnership with Air Force Recruiting Service, we perform for events that generate interest and enthusiasm for military service.”

For more information about the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America or the Shades of Blue ensemble, visit www.music.af.mil.

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Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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