The Jazz Ambassadors is the official touring big band of the United States Army.
The group tours worldwide, delivering the sounds of American jazz to audiences in 50 states and international festivals in Switzerland, Belgium, England and more.
This spring’s tour included the Higley Center for Performing Arts, where the 19-member ensemble performed to a packed house.
The Higley Air Force Jr. ROTC Color Guard opened the show with a presentation of the flags.
The concert included music from early jazz, the Swing Era, bebop & cool jazz and modern jazz.
Higley High senior David Alvarez, 17, and sophomore Wesley Britt, 16, took the stage with the Jazz Ambassadors for one song, an honor given to selected students when the band performs at a school.
Both are members of Higley High’s jazz and marching bands.
Wesley said the students received the music about four weeks before the event to prepare, but they didn’t meet the band until the day of the event.
“They were excited to see us. I shook everyone’s hand. It was a great experience for me and David. We loved talking to them all. They were so generous and very nice,” he said.
Higley High band director Ches Sharp was happy to help provide this experience for his students.
“I loved that there was this educational aspect to the concert. As a musician, you can learn so much from just playing next to top-notch players. This was a great opportunity for them to be on stage with some of the best players in the country,” he said.
For more information, please contact Michelle Reese, Public Relations Officer for Higley Unified School District at (480) 279-7141 or (480) 599-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org