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Nnenna Freelon bio photo
Six-time GRAMMY Award nominee Nnenna Freelon has earned a well- deserved reputation as a compelling and captivating live performer. Nnenna is no stranger to the music of the master singer -- she toured with Ray Charles as well as many other great jazz artists including Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau, George Benson and others.
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Jazz Heritage Series Kickoff

Posted 1/23/2017   Updated 2/3/2017 Email story   Print story


by Technical Sgt. Kevin Cerovich

1/23/2017 - Washington, D.C. -- The Airmen of Note is currently rehearsing in preparation for the return of their highly lauded Jazz Heritage Series this spring.

Beginning in 1990, the Jazz Heritage Series continually showcases the best and brightest jazz musicians performing live with the Airmen of Note. In addition to the dozens of luminaries featured over the years, the concerts and radio broadcasts have served to document the band itself in its more recent incarnations.

The 2017 Jazz Heritage series will kick off on Thursday, February 9th with six-time Grammy Award-nominated vocalist, Nnenna Freelon. In addition to her latest accomplishments such as being honored as a "Woman of Substance" by Bennett College for Woman in 2010, and her stunning performance at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards for 20,000 music industry leaders and celebrities, Freelon has been at the forefront of American Music for decades. Some of her collaborations include masters such as Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau and Ray Charles. Her upcoming performance with the Airmen of Note is sure to be a testament to her legendary skill and grace as a performer.

Thursday, March 23 brings one of the undisputed chieftains of the drumset, Peter Erskine. As the recipient of two Grammy awards and an honorary doctorate for the Berklee School of Music, Erskine is a legend in his craft. His unique sound can be heard on over 600 albums and film scores featuring the biggest names in modern music. Erskine is a natural fit with the Airmen of Note as his professional career started with a stint in the legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra. He is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in the seminal group, "Weather Report" alongside Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul. In addition to his busy performance schedule, Erskine is Professor of Practice and Director of Drumset Studies at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California.

Since 1990, the Airmen of Note's Jazz Heritage Series has served as a benchmark in excellence in the world of jazz and military bands. For the thousands of people in attendance at the concerts this spring and the millions more reached by their subsequent radio broadcast, the 2017 Jazz Heritage Series is shaping up to be a truly unforgettable experience.

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