U.S. Navy Band: The Commodores


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Free, Jazz, Summer Concerts | Saturday, Jul 1, 2017 | 7:00 PM | $Free

U.S. Navy Band: The Commodores

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The Navy’s premier jazz ensemble, the “Commodores,” presents the finest in America’s truly original music. A specialty unit of the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC, the group features 18 of the Navy’s top jazz and “big band” musicians. Under the leadership of Senior Chief Musician Philip M. Burlin, the Commodores combine the best of jazz and popular music.

Since their founding in 1969, the Commodores have become one of the most acclaimed jazz ensembles in the country. Many jazz legends have appeared with the group, including Ray Charles, Louie Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Bruce Johnstone, Bob Mintzer, James Moody, Clark Terry and Eugene “Snooky” Young. In addition, they have opened for the Beach Boys and appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning, America.”

The Commodores trace their roots to before World War II, when Band members with jazz experience formed dance bands and rehearsed on an as-needed basis for specific occasions. Responding to public demand for unique types of music as well as the changing needs of Navy recruiting, then Ensign Ned Muffley formed a dance band in 1966 from members of the concert and ceremonial units, and in 1968, preparations began to make the ensemble a separate group. In January 1969, the “Dance Band” officially became the “Commodores” jazz ensemble.

Their performances are high-energy affairs that not only pay tribute to the legendary big bands of yesterday, but also feature original compositions by members of the group. In 2008, the Commodores released their latest compact disc, Directions. The Commodores continue to preserve the great heritage of jazz while also being an innovative force for the future.

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