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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Highlights from “The Great American Songbook and Beyond”

By Master Sgt. Kristin duBois | United States Marine Band | October 15, 2014


The Fall Chamber Series concert at 2 p.m., Oct. 19, will feature some of the most beloved songs of all time. The first half will showcase standards of the jazz repertoire performed by small jazz combos of 3-6 musicians. The coordinator of the performance, pianist Gunnery Sgt. AnnaMaria Mottola, said, “The inspiration for this program is the American Songbook and beyond. Even if an artist did not compose a particular piece, listeners will be reminded of artists that made some of these compositions famous.” One example of this is a medley of “There’s a Lull in My Life” by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon and “But Not for Me” by George and Ira Gershwin. Trumpet player Gunnery Sgt. Brian Turnmire will not only play the medley in the style of Chet Baker, but he will sing in that yearning and melancholic way Baker sings. During “Django,” written in honor of jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, violist Staff Sgt. Tam Tran will channel Django’s collaborator, the French jazz violin player Stéphane Grappelli. “In honor of Horace Silver’s career and recent passing, we will play his famous arrangement and composition of ‘Cape Verdean Blues,” Mottola added. “And the inspiration for our arrangement of ‘Waltz for Debby’ by Bill Evans came from the 1975 Bill Evans and Tony Bennett studio album, ‘My Foolish Heart.’ Guitarist Gunnery Sgt. Alan Prather will be featured on vocals for this.”

The highlight of the second half of the concert will be the Marine Big Band. Their set includes Henry Mancini’s “Days of Wine and Roses,” Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are,” Staff Sgt. Ken Ebo’s “Sunset Parade,” Glenn Wilson’s “If I Only Had Seven Giant Brains,” Harry Connick Jr.’s “With Imagination (I’ll Get There),” and Pat Metheny’s Song for Bilbao. While most of the composers are household names, patrons may not recognize Staff Sgt. Ken Ebo, who is currently serving as the trombone instructor at The Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach, Va. In addition to teaching all new trombonists for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps band programs, Ebo also is a recipient of the Marine Musician of the Year Award and has played lead trombone for the Marine Corps All-Star Jazz Ensemble annually since 2009.

“I am very honored that the jazz ensemble from ‘The President’s Own’ will be performing the song!” Staff Sgt. Ebo said. “I wrote Sunset Parade in the Count Basie-ballad style—slow, deliberate, and clean. It can stand alone, but was conceived as programming music, meant to evoke the scenes and moods of a U.S. Marine Corps ceremonial evening parade with orchestrated troop movements, a precise slow march by the band, and the lowering of Old Glory to the sound of taps; all with the backdrop of a beautiful sunset.”


“The style of this song is essentially the kind of music that the WWII generation knew and loved during the war and post-war years,” he continued. “It brought comfort to them in many ways and can do the same for us. I hope in some small measure the song will remind your patrons of our WWII veterans and the blessings of liberty that we enjoy in large part because of them.”

The Fall Chamber Series takes place at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 19 at the John Philip Sousa Band Hall, which is located at the Marine Barracks Annex at 7th and K Streets in southeast Washington, D.C. The performance is free and tickets are not required. Patrons may park for free in the lot under the overpass across the street from the Annex. For more information, please visit www.marineband.marines.mil.

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