Compiled From U.S. Army and Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce Press Materials—
The internationally acclaimed Jazz Ambassadors of Washington, DC will continue its long tradition of presenting free public performances when it appears at the Crockett Civic Center on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 pm.
The Jazz Ambassadors' concert in Crockett is sponsored by the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce in association with the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association (PWFAA).
The Jazz Ambassadors is the official touring big band of the United States Army.
Formed in 1969, this 19-member ensemble has received great acclaim at home and abroad performing America's greatest original art form, jazz.
Concerts by the Jazz Ambassadors are programmed to entertain all types of audiences. The band's diverse repertoire includes big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, popular tunes, Dixieland, vocals and patriotic selections, many of which are written or arranged by members of the Jazz Ambassadors.
Recent notable performances include concerts at the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont, the Kennedy Center Honors, the Jazz Education Network Conference and an appearance on the Colbert Report.
Gordon Goodwin, Bobby Shew, Ernie Watts and the Dave Brubeck All-Star Quintet are just a few of the outstanding jazz artists who have shared the stage with the Jazz Ambassadors.
The band has been featured in joint concerts with Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Pops, the Colorado Pops Orchestra and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. The band's rigorous touring schedule and reputation for excellence has earned it the title "America's Big Band."
Three members of the Jazz Ambassadors are from Texas: Sergeant First Class Todd Harrison, drums; Staff Sergeant Thomas Davis, trumpet; and Master Sergeant Marva Lewis, vocalist.
Sergeant First Class Todd Harrison started his professional music career at the age of 14 in Houston. He quickly became known for his ability to excel at any style of drumming, including Middle Eastern and Latin styles, rock, R&B, Broadway, country & western and funk.
After high school, SFC Harrison studied jazz under Shelly Berg at San Jacinto Junior College and classical percussion at Houston Baptist University.
He has performed with Paul Gilbert, Clark Terry, Russell Malone, Kirk Whalum, Grupo Mazz, Joel Frahm, Rob Levit, the Unified Jazz Ensemble and many others.
SFC Harrison is also an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist, and enjoys participation in local triathlons, cycling, scuba diving and fishing.
Born in Arkansas and raised in Arlington, Staff Sergeant Thomas Davis began playing trumpet at the age of 11 and later attended James Martin High School.
He received his undergraduate education from the University of North Texas, where he performed with the prestigious One and Two o'clock Lab Bands.
Before joining the Jazz Ambassadors in 2013, SSG Davis was an active freelance musician and horn arranger in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
He has performed with Gladys Knight, The Temptations, and Dave Brubeck, and has recorded with various gospel acts in the DFW area. SSG Davis also enjoys composing music, playing electric bass, and working out with kettlebells.
Born in Denison, Master Sergeant Marva Lewis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Wiley College, where she was a member of the Wiley A Cappella Choir.
A Gulf War veteran, MSG Lewis was a fuel handler in Desert Storm and Desert Shield with the First Cavalry Division. She is an alumni of the US Army Soldiers Show, and has served as principal vocalist for the Jazz Knights at the United States Military Academy.
MSG Lewis attributes her eclectic taste for music to her father, who always surrounded her with music, and her grandmother, who made her go to church choir rehearsal.
For additional information about the Jazz Ambassadors' performance in Crockett, contact the Crocket Area Chamber of Commerce at 936-544-2359.
Free tickets will be available at the chamber office (Crockett Civic Center), First Community Bank, Lovelady State Bank, Grapeland State Bank, Citizens Bank, Prosperity Bank, Crockett Bank and Curry's Grocery.
H.E.B. will offer all veterans a free meal at the Crockett Civic Center beginning at 6 p.m. Veterans do not need a ticket for the meal, but they will need a ticket for the concert.