Swing over to Irvington for a jazz concert

Big Band classics and a musical salute to current and past servicemen and servicewomen will be featured by the Rhythm in Blue Jazz Ensemble May 25 at the Irvington Commons, 98 King Carter Drive, Irvington.

The free Memorial Day Weekend concert, beginning at 7 p.m., is sponsored by the Irvington Village Improvement Association (VIA).

The group from Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton will be making its second visit to Irvington, said Jill Worth of the VIA. Folks are urged to bring lawn chairs and picnics.

Rhythm in Blue music director, Senior Airman Mark Oates, said the performance by the 15-member ensemble will highlight the hot jazz music of trumpet virtuoso Harry James and the swing-style of Maj. Glenn Miller’s Orchestra as well as other legendary jazz musicians.

“We’ll also perform a special Memorial Day tribute to all our veterans,” he said.

The playlist will recognize the music of other jazz greats, like Basie, Ellington, Goodman and Gillespie. The ensemble also will perform new arrangements of classics from the Great American Songbook, such as “Stardust,” “Bye, Bye Blackbird,” “Autumn Leaves” and “Lullaby of Birdland.”

The program will feature a number of soloists, including Master Sgt. Jason Foster, a trombonist whose performing credits also include the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Opera and the Richmond Symphony, and vocalist Staff Sgt. Melissa Lackore, who honors great jazz divas, said Oates.

“Rhythm in Blue brings to life the sounds of big band legends, while inspiring audiences with exciting new arrangements, great soloists and patriotic classics,” said Worth. “We’re delighted these wonderful musicians could join us here again.”

The VIA also will host the 40-member Heritage of America Concert Band at 7 p.m. July 2 at the Irvington Commons.