Washington, D.C. --
Since its inception in 1990, the Airmen of Note’s Jazz Heritage Series has wowed audiences in the Washington, DC area with high-energy performances from world-class artists, and 2018 was no exception.
Featuring the sublime vocals of Cyrille Aimée, masterful artistry of pianist Kenny Barron, and the effervescent improvisations of saxophonist Branford Marsalis, this year’s series dazzled audiences and drew capacity crowds to the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on the Alexandria, Virginia, campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
February’s concert featured the versatile and dynamic vocals of Cyrille Aimée. A native of Samois-sur-Seine, in Fontainebleau, France, Ms. Aimée showcased her ability to soar over the band while scatting. She brought the audience to tears with her tender ballads and navigated tricky horn lines with the deftness of a saxophonist. Presenting a program of original songs and lesser-known standards, Aimée elevated the band’s performance with her youthful energy.
The second JHS concert of the season brought National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master Kenny Barron to the stage. Greatly loved by the “Note,” Mr. Barron graciously answered numerous questions from our members regarding his 50-year career. The performance featured several of Barron’s compositions, as arranged by former and current band members, which displayed his amazing touch, swing, and sensitivity. The Airmen of Note all agree that they will remember Mr. Barron’s performance just as much as the great audience in attendance that evening.
In April, Branford Marsalis, also an NEA Jazz Master, brought a sold-out crowd to its feet with a whirlwind program featuring his magical playing and dynamic personality. The concert included a mix of jazz styles, from traditional New Orleans to modern jazz. Immediately at home with the band, Mr. Marsalis was fast friends with every member, and the connection translated into an exciting show.
With the 2018 series behind us, we eagerly anticipate the 2019 Jazz Heritage Series, which will feature a new lineup of Jazz legends. For more information about upcoming Airmen of Note performances, please visit www.usafband.af.mil or the Airmen of Note Facebook page.
Check out the following video for highlights from each Jazz Heritage Series concert.