Air Force’s ‘Shades of Blue’ brings free jazz conc...

Air Force’s ‘Shades of Blue’ brings free jazz concert to MTSU this Sunday

Audiences in MTSU’s Hinton Hall will be flying high this Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19, when “Shades of Blue,” the U.S. Air Force Jazz Ensemble, takes the stage for a free public concert.

Shades of Blue concert poster webSet for 3 p.m. inside the university’s Wright Music Building, the 18 professional musicians — who also are active-duty airmen and women — have a repertoire ranging from traditional jazz and big band to bebop, swing and modern jazz.

A searchable campus map for parking is available at

“This is one of my favorite bands, especially as one of my former students, David Gonzalez, is the lead trombonist,” said Dr. Michael Parkinson, director of the MTSU School of Music.

The band has backed many jazz greats, including Tex Benecke, Denis DiBlasio, Jamey Aebersold, Steve Houghton, Walt Levinsky and more. The group often performs the classic sounds of Count Basie and Glenn Miller along with music by contemporary composers.

“The best way to describe their style is Basie, bebop, ballads and blues — something for everyone to enjoy,” said Parkinson.

The Shades of Blue have performed the national anthem for Chicago White Sox baseball games and for Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks NBA games. The group also collaborated with actor Wilford Brimley on a highly acclaimed salute to Miller’s music. You can get a preview of their MTSU concert in the video below, captured at the 2016 Glenn Miller Festival in Clarinda, Iowa.

For details on more MTSU School of Music concerts, call 615-898-2493 or visit the concert calendar at

— Gina E. Fann (