Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble to perform free concerts, kick off tour

  • Published
  • By Leticia Hopkins
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Shades of Blue jazz ensemble is set to kick off its six-show tour with two free concerts at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Sept. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m.


“The Sounds of Glenn Miller and the Big Band Era” pays tribute to former U.S. Air Force Maj. Glenn Miller and the genres of jazz and swing music, which were popular during World War II.


“On AFN radio, Major Miller once stated that ‘America means freedom, and there’s no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music,’” said Master Sgt. Mike Richter, superintendent, U.S. Air Force Band of Flight, Wright Patterson Air Force Base. “This idea remains true today.”


“Come join us as we celebrate freedom and service with the music of one of our own, Maj. Glenn Miller,” added Richter.


The ensemble will comprise the USAF Band of Flight, WPAFB; USAF Band of Mid-America, Scott AFB, Illinois; USAF Heritage of America Band, Langley AFB, Virginia; and local civilian musicians.


The Air Force Band of Flight is thrilled to join forces with our colleagues from the Band of Mid-America …,” said Richter, who plays the trumpet. “Our audience here in Dayton has craved a big band show for many years.”


In recent years, this will be the second time that the two bands have attempted to come together. The Band of Flight was cut from 45 members to 15, so, although the band has been performing, it hasn’t performed its annual big band show since 2012. The collaboration allows them to be able to perform as a full big band again.


Tech Sgt. Rob Hyatt, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble, Scott AFB, said that along with Miller’s music, the performances will include music written by current and former Air Force musicians that represents the WWII era, which is also part of the significance for holding the initial concerts at the museum in Dayton since it houses a lot of WWII history.  


These free band concerts are more than an opportunity to entertain the public.


Hyatt said that his job is to honor, inspire and connect. During their performances that is what they hope they do – honor veterans, inspire current members and connect with the community.


“Music is an international language that we can all agree upon and enjoy together, and jazz is one of America’s true original art forms” said Hyatt, who plays the trombone.


Hyatt added that he hopes people feel connected with their military and know that those serving care about them. He also hopes that people know that the excellence that they will see on stage is representative of all Airmen and the work that they do daily.


Both Hyatt and Richter agreed that the family friendly event will feature great music and be a performance people will enjoy.


“I’m sure we’ll have people who get up and dance during the show, and that’s welcomed,” said Richter, who plays the trumpet.


Entrance will be granted on a first-come, first serve basis both nights when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.


“It’s bound to be a great time, and everyone is invited, so it’ll be awesome,” said Hyatt.


For questions about the concert, contact the 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs office at (937) 522-3252. Information about the Band of Flight is available at For information about the Band of Mid-America, go to