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National WWII Reunion

Music Stages

Music and dance from the World War II era (big band, swing, military music, and more) were presented on two large stages.

List of Participants:
The Aloha Boys

Born and raised in Hawai'i and transplanted to the Washington, D.C., area to pursue careers, the Aloha Boys — Ramon Camarillo, Glen Hirabayashi, Isaac Ho'opi'i, and Irv Queja — met in 1996 while playing music for their relatives at Halau O 'Aulani, a school of Hawaiian culture, in the Washington, D.C., area. A special and exciting bond grew musically among the Aloha Boys, who love to kanikapila or play an acoustic down- home, backyard-style Hawaiian music — a style that includes everything from the very traditional to the contemporary. They all take turns singing lead and backing vocals, their voices blending in a nahenahe (soft pleasant) style. The music of the Aloha Boys brings them and their audiences back to a lifestyle that is distinctive and precious to Hawai'i.

The Artie Shaw Orchestra

Some of the most popular music of all time —"Stardust," "Begin the Beguine," "Moonglow," and "Carioca"—was recorded by Artie Shaw and his orchestra. Now in his 90s, Shaw remains actively involved in the orchestra, but no longer travels with them. His clarinet virtuosity is carried on by his chosen successor, bandleader Dick Johnson, who in addition to having a distinguished musical career of his own also served in the Navy during World War II. Based in Boston, the 16-piece Artie Shaw Orchestra under the direction of Dick Johnson has toured the world since 1983, and continues to be one of the finest exponents of music from the Swing Era.

The AVI8ORS

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, The AVI8ORS believe there is no better way to honor our World War II vets and their families than by keeping alive the sounds, styles, rhythms, and harmonies of the groups who dominated the charts in the 1930s and '40s. Under the guidance of director Bob Moser, who founded the ensemble in 1999, The AVI8ORS have appeared at countless military reunions, civic, corporate, and private functions and benefits.
For further information: www.avi8ors.com

Broadway in Wartime: Let Freedom Sing!

Specially commissioned for the National World War II Reunion, this musical revue presents songs by Broadway's leading composers and lyricists that became important contributions to the soundscape of wartime America, from the martial swing of Irving Berlin's "This Is the Army" to the fervent nationalism of Oscar & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" Conceived and directed by James Morris, the show features a cast of some of Washington's leading musical theater performers. Smithsonian curator and theater historian, Dr. Dwight Blocker Bowers, acts as narrator. The musical director is Howard Breitbart. The cast includes Doug Bowles, Morgan Duncan, Cindy Hutchins, Stephen F. Schmidt, and Tim Tourbin.

Brooks Tegler Army Air Force Big Band

A Washington-area favorite since 1979, Brooks Tegler and his AAF Big Band frequently play major concert and swing dance venues up and down the East Coast. Tegler, a full-time jazz drummer primarily influenced by Gene Krupa, and his ensemble of professional musicians are well versed in the history and styles of the Swing Era. They perform "Tribute Concerts" celebrating the music of well-known Swing Era greats such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, and their repertoire includes a re-creation of the historic 1938 Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall concert. Patterned after theater-based jazz/dance bands like the 354th Fighter Group's "Pioneers," the 4th Fighter Group's "Flying Eagles," and the 78th Fighter Group's "Thunderbirds," the group seeks to honor all those who served in World War II.

Daryl Davis Ensemble

Boogie-woogie pianist Daryl Davis grew up in Chicago, where he absorbed the influences of the great blues musicians from the South who settled there and made the Windy City one of the world's great blues capitals. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree from Howard University, Davis went on to play with such legendary artists as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley's Jordanaires, Muddy Waters's Legendary Blues, The Coasters, and Bo Diddley. Combining the pioneering styles of American popular music such as blues, boogie woogie, rock'n roll, rockabilly, country western, and zydeco, Davis and his ensemble produce a special sound they call "American Roots." His CD by the same title has won critical acclaim from leading music industry publications.
For further information: www.DarylDavis.com

Doc Scantlin & His Imperial Palms Orchestra

From New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rainbow Room "high atop Rockefeller Center" to international society parties, balls, galas, and royal weddings, Doc Scantlin & His Imperial Palms Orchestra presents the best music of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s with unsurpassed sophistication, elegance, and fun. From royalty to retro dancers, corporations to cotillions, young rockers to world leaders, Scantlin and his ensemble have an ability to charm and excite audiences.
For further information: www.DocScantlin.com

Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra

Crooner, trombonist, and bandleader Eric Felten starred in the hit PBS concert special "The Big Band Sound of World War II." Born in Phoenix into a family of professional jazz musicians, Felten learned to play trombone from his grandfather. After moving to Washington, D.C., Felten formed his own band in 1991, and The Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra quickly gained renown for its polished and powerful renditions of classic big band music from the Swing Era. One of the most popular groups in the nation's capital, the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra has also been featured on Black Entertainment Television's BETonJazz series.
For further information: www.EricFelten.com

Free Country

Free Country, one of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band's most popular ensembles, has offered audiences an eclectic mix of modern and classic country hits since the early 1990s. Formed at the request of General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., 30th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Free Country began its career at pre-parade receptions at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. The group, known for its showmanship and intricate vocal harmonies, has since performed at the White House and Camp David and occasionally gives public performances in the Washington, D.C., area. The ensemble is comprised of musicians from "The President's Own" on keyboard, guitar, bass, vocals, fiddle, and drums. Its repertoire includes music by many of the greats of country music.
For further information: www.marineband.usmc.mil

Hot Club of Cowtown

During the 1940s, western swing, a distinctive regional style developed by bands in Texas, Oklahoma, and the Lower Great Plains, kept millions of Americans dancing at roadhouses, county fairs, and dancehalls. Today, this dynamic young trio from Austin, Texas—armed only with a violin, guitar, bass, and loads of talent—is in the forefront of reviving this uniquely American art form.
For further information: www.hotclubofcowtown.com

The Ink Spots

The Ink Spots are one of the most influential American vocal groups of all time, and among the most imitated entertainers in show business. The group's story spans six decades and includes more than 80 chart-topping hits, including "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire," "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie," "Java Jive," and "If I Didn't Care." Founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1932, the group has undergone personnel changes over the years, but the distinctive close harmonies that characterize the group's sound remain The Ink Spots' stock-in-trade. The current group features bass-singer and narrator Harold Winley, second lead Sonny Hatchett, lead tenor Herman Denby, and baritone and guitarist Morris Dow.
For further information: www.theinkspots.com

Little Bit a Blues

Blues is the rock upon which big band jazz of the 1940s was founded, and few performers uphold the blues tradition in a more pure, direct, or joyful way than singer and guitarist Warner Williams and his musical partner, harmonica player Jay Summerour. Playing the Piedmont style of blues, the duo's ability to draw from traditional, country, pop, and jazz has won them praise at festivals and concert halls throughout the United States.

Mr. Williams was born in Maryland in 1930 and grew up in a musical family. He and his ten brothers and sisters frequently performed at Washington-area functions during the 1930s and '40s as the Williams Family. A long-time fixture in Washington's sophisticated blues community, in the 1990s Warner teamed with harmonica virtuoso Summerour, whose own background included the Starland Vocal Band and the Cambridge Harmonica Orchestra, to form Little Bit of Blues. The duo's latest album, Blue Highways: Warner William Live with Jay Summerour, was just released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Native American Warrior Songs from the Ho Chunk Nation

Kenneth Funmaker, Sr., Wamaningah ("Snow Walker"), is a member of the Ho Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, a people with a long and proud history of warrior culture and military service. The traditional Bear Clan Leader of the Ho Chunk Nation, Funmaker will be presenting Native American warrior songs highlighting World War II. He is the founder of the Wisconsin Dells Singers and of Good Village Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Ho Chunk language, culture, arts, and sacred sites.

North Dakota American Legion State Band

Established in 1924 from the former 164th Army Infantry Band (1st North Dakota National Guard), which served on the Mexican border in 1916 and in Europe during World War I, the band appeared at the 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and at the 1995 dedication of the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Today, the band remains one of two State Legion Bands in the United States and draws its members from throughout North Dakota.

"The President's Own" The United States Marine Band

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band has been part of the events that have shaped our national heritage for more than two centuries. Its omnipresent role in events of national importance has made it part of the fabric of American life. Established by an Act of Congress in 1798, the Marine Band is America's oldest professional musical organization. Its primary mission is unique: to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Performing more then 200 times annually at the Executive Mansion and 500 times in public and private performances, the musicians of "The President's Own" enlist in the Marine Corps after a rigorous audition process.
For further information: www.marineband.usmc.mil

Tom Cunningham Orchestra

For more than 25 years, trumpeter Tom Cunningham and his ensemble have kept Washingtonians up and dancing to original, hard-swinging charts that capture the best of the 1940s. The band, with vocalist Robin Cunningham, has performed at the Smithsonian Institution, the Barns of Wolf Trap, presidential and gubernatorial inaugurals, the National Cherry Blossom and other major balls, and on media broadcasts too numerous to mention. For almost two decades their regular appearances at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom have made them a Washington institution.
For further information: www.TomCunningham.com

Tom Koerner & Debra Sternberg

Washington, D.C.'s Tom Koerner and Debra Sternberg have been dancing jitterbug and Lindy Hop since 1987. Their swing dance class proved so popular that today they teach six classes five nights a week to more than 500 students. The dance partners are the 1994 Lindy Hop Champions-Air Step Division, and 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, and 2003 Virginia State Open Lindy Hop champions, as well as jitterbug champs for many of those same years.
For further information see: www.gottaswing.com

U.S. Air Force Band

This 65-member symphonic wind ensemble presents over 100 concerts annually and performs an extensive repertoire from light classics, popular favorites, and instrumental features to classical transcriptions and original works for the band idiom. Remaining true to the Air Force's pioneering spirit, the Concert Band has established an international reputation as a champion of new works for band, with dozens of world premieres to its credit. The Concert Band is in constant demand by many of the world's most highly respected professional musical organizations, including the American Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, Music Educators National Conference, and The Midwest Clinic.
For further information:

U.S. Air Force Band High Flight

High Flight, The United States Air Force Band's premier show group, is one of the most sought after performing ensembles in today's Air Force. Fronted by five talented vocalists and backed by four of the hottest contemporary instrumentalists around, High Flight presents dynamic performances of pop, rock, jazz, Broadway, and country music. From floor shows featuring elaborate medleys to oldies, contemporary dance music, emotional patriotic songs, High Flight delivers an impressive entertainment experience.

U.S. Army Blues

Formed in 1972, The Army Blues carries on a tradition begun by the Army Dance Band, which entertained soldiers and civilians in the battle zone during World War II. As the premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Army, and one of the few remaining professional groups of its kind, the Blues' present-day mission is to promote America's art form: jazz. The Blues pay tribute to the big bands of yesterday by performing music by such greats as Ellington, Basie, Miller, and Herman as well as their own versions of the latest and most innovative sounds of contemporary composers.
For further information: www.army.mil/armyband

U.S. Army Chorale

Chosen for their musical versatility and showmanship, the men and women of the U.S. Army Chorale combine special arrangements with choreography to create dynamic entertainment. The Chorale performs hundreds of times each year for a wide variety of audiences. In addition to providing musical support to The White House, senior Army leadership, and their foreign diplomatic guests, the Chorale is recognized as a driving force in world of vocal music. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, the ensemble's experience includes performances at music educator conferences, prestigious music institutions and camps, as well as live national television broadcasts.
For further information visit: www.army.mil/armyband

U.S. Army Chorus

The U.S. Army Chorus was established in 1956 as the vocal counterpart of The U.S. Army Band and is one of the nation's only professional all-male choruses. From its inception, The Army Chorus has established and maintained a reputation of excellence in the performance of male choral literature. Beyond the traditional military music and patriotic standards, the group's repertoire covers a broad spectrum that includes pop, Broadway, folk, and classical music. The Chorus often performs at The White House, at functions hosted by the Department of State, and is a standard feature at events for presidential inaugurals. World leaders, such as Queen Elizabeth II, the Princess of Thailand, former British Prime Minister John Major, and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, have been serenaded in their native tongues, as The Chorus is able to sing in more than 26 foreign languages. In recent years, the Chorus has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Grant Park Symphony (Chicago), and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The men of The Chorus, most of whom hold advanced degrees in music, are selected from among the nation's finest musicians. Many former members have gone on to successful careers in music education and as soloists on Broadway and opera stages around the world.
For further information visit: www.army.mil/armyband

U.S. Army Drill Team

The U.S. Army Drill Team, one of the 3rd U.S. Infantry's renowned specialty units, has earned international acclaim through its breathtaking routines with bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles. Organized to support The Old Guard's ceremonial commitments, the Drill Team has thrilled millions of Americans for more than 25 years with their performances. When not performing for the president or visiting dignitaries and heads of state, the Drill Team travels extensively supporting Army recruitment, acting as "good-will ambassadors" for the Army and participating in major military and civic functions. The soldiers are selected for this elite team after six months of rigorous and competitive drill practice. Trim military bearing, strength, and dexterity are mandatory to qualify for the Drill Team. To execute their complicated routines as close to perfection as possible, the team practices constantly.

U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps

Created in 1960 and assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) at Fort Myer, Virginia, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is the only unit of its kind in the armed forces. Dressed in Colonial-style tricorn hats, white wigs, black leather neckstock, short waistcoat, overalls, and red greatcoats, they recall the days of the American Revolution. Averaging over 1,400 performances each year, the Corps provides music for all White House arrival ceremonies, presidential inaugurals, Army full-honor arrival ceremonies at Fort Myer, Army general-officer retirements, and numerous other state and military ceremonies. The 69-member Corps uses 11-hole wooden fifes, handmade rope-tensioned drums, and solid-brass bugles — all patterned after the instruments used during the late 1700s. The marching strength of the unit is normally several dozen soldiers and a drum major, who has the distinction of being the only soldier in the U.S. Army authorized to salute with his left hand. The music played by the Corps reflects the heritage of the Revolutionary War era and has been carefully researched from original 18th-century documents to ensure authenticity.

U.S. Coast Guard Band "Masters of Swing"

Formed in 1989, The Masters of Swing spotlight Swing Era music, performing compositions by such jazz greats as Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and George Gershwin. Skillfully arranged by members of the group, the musical selections reflect sparkling ensemble playing and highlight the performer's improvisational expertise. The Masters are a division of the Coast Guard Band, one of the finest professional concert bands in the world and the official musical representative of the nation's oldest continuous seagoing service. Today, the band routinely tours nationally and internationally and represents the Coast Guard at presidential functions, for the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for other Cabinet officials on formal and informal occasions.

U.S. Navy Band Commodores

As the U.S. Navy's premier jazz ensemble, the Commodores offer the finest in America's true classical music—jazz! A specialty unit of The United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., the group features 18 of the Navy's top jazz and "big band" musicians. Under the direction of Senior Chief Musician Randy D. Mattson, the Commodores combine the best of jazz and popular music. Many of the members compose and arrange music for the group in styles ranging from the authentic sounds of the swing era to the contemporary.

U.S. Navy Band Country Current Blue Grass Quintet

Country Current, the premier country-bluegrass group of The United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., showcases a five-member acoustic ensemble performing traditional, contemporary, and original compositions. Former Country Current director, Master Chief Musician Bill Emerson, established the ensemble in 1989. Today, under the direction of guitarist and vocalist Senior Chief Musician Wayne C. Taylor, they are in great demand throughout the United States.

U.S.O. Liberty Belles

The Liberty Belles is a nostalgic 1940s Troupe reminiscent of the "Andrews Sisters," crooning classic hits such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," "I'll Be Seeing You," "God Bless America," and "Thanks for the Memory." Their show includes period costumes and hairstyles, dance numbers, and audience interaction.

Music Stage Presenters
Clay Anderson

NBC meteorologist Clay Anderson joined WNEWS4's news team in 1999 as the weather anchor for weekend and morning broadcasts. He comes to NEWS4 with 20 years of distinguished service in the United States Air Force. During his military career, Anderson was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, where his responsibilities included briefing the crew of Air Force One on national and international weather conditions. Later, he transferred to the United States Space Command in Colorado Springs, where he joined an elite group of meteorologists who forecasted changing weather conditions in outer space.

Mary Cliff

A Washington-area native, Cliff has been an important voice on Washington radio since 1970. She serves as host, producer, and interviewer for classical, folk, and public affairs programs at public radio station WETA 90.9 FM, where her four-hour Saturday night folk music program, "Traditions," has become a tradition in its own right.

Harold Closter

Harold Closter has had a long and distinguished career at the Smithsonian, where he is currently the Acting Director of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program.

Corey Flintoff

The evening newscaster on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," Flintoff has been a reporter and newscaster on NPR's Washington, national, and foreign desks since 1990. Originally from Alaska, Flintoff began his career in broadcasting at a bilingual English-Yup'ik radio station and later went on to serve as the executive producer for Alaska Public Radio Network.

Tony Gittens

A respected leader on Washington, D.C.'s cultural scene, Gittens is the Executive Director of the Washington D.C. Commission on the Arts as well as the founder and director of the Washington, D.C. International Film Festival.

Nicole Lacroix

The morning host of Washington's WETA 90.9 FM since 1998, Lacroix's extensive radio experience also includes stints hosting shows on Washington's WGMS, Baltimore's WJHU and WBJC, the Voice of America, as well as occasionally lending her voice to KDFC in San Francisco.

Kathleen Matthews

The anchor of Washington's ABC 7's "News at 5:00," Matthews is a native of the San Francisco Bay area. An award-winning producer, reporter, and news anchor, Matthews has covered news in Washington, D.C., for 25 years, and her credits include a Peabody Award, the Scripps-Howard Award, and Associated Press awards.

Doug McKelway

Co-anchor of ABC7/WJLA-TV's "Good Morning Washington" and ABC7 "News at Noon," McKelway is a Washington area native and comes from a long line of Washington journalists. Before returning to the Washington media in October 2001, he had compiled an impressive record as a reporter and news anchor on stations in North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, and Florida.

Garth Ross

Garth Ross oversees artistic programming for Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he directs the Millennium Stage. In addition to his work as an arts administrator, he is a respected singer and songwriter.

Angela Russell

A newscaster on ABC7/WJLA-TV's "Weekend Report," Florida native Angela Russell comes to the Washington, D.C., area broadcasting after television experience in Florida and Alabama, where she worked as a newspaper and television reporter, a co-anchor of Mobile's top-rated morning show, and the producer of the popular segment "Faith Matters."

Willard Scott

The ebullient Willard Scott has made mornings much brighter for millions of NBC's "Today" viewers since he first appeared in March 1980, reporting on the weather. He joined "Today" after having performed similar duties, beginning in 1968, at WRC-TV, the NBC television station in Washington, D.C. In addition to being a popular on-air and off-air host, Scott has distinguished himself with his public-service efforts. He has been named both Distinguished Virginian by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters (1990), Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine (1979), and Humanitarian in Residence by the National Society of Fund Raisers (1985). In 1985 he was recognized for his efforts by President Ronald Reagan with the Private Sector Award for Public Service.

Tom Sherwood

Since 1989, Tom Sherwood has worked as a reporter for NBC4 specializing in politics and government, particularly in the District of Columbia. Prior to joining the NBC4 news team, Sherwood worked as a desk editor and political reporter at the Washington Post and the Atlanta Constitution and served as the press secretary for Congressman John W. Davis of Georgia.

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