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Wave your flag with historic military musicians
Army Ground Forces Band and Jazz Guardians to perform free patriotic concert
The Jazz Guardians, a 21-member big band, will perform with the Army Ground Services Band on July 2 at the Smithgall Arts Center.

U.S. Army Ground Forces Band and Jazz Guardians

The Arts Council’s Summer Musicfest Series

When: 8 p.m. June 29

Where: Smithgall Arts Center, 331 Spring St., Gainesville

How much: Concert is free; dinner is extra

More info: 770-534-2787,

Kick off your week of patriotic celebrations by taking in a concert by The U.S. Army Ground Forces Band and Jazz Guardians, part of The Arts Council’s Smithgall Arts Center Summer Musicfest Series.

The patriotic concert is set for 8 p.m. Friday, June 29. Gates open at 6.

The band was organized as the Fourth Infantry Regiment Band in 1845 in New Orleans. It began during the Mexican War, where its members became the only Army band to receive a combat distinction from the president. Since then, The Army Ground Forces Band has served during the Civil War, the War with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection and both World Wars.

Following World War II, the Fourth Infantry Regiment Band changed its name to the 214th Army Band. In 1985, Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh Jr. conferred the designation The Army Ground Forces Band. It has served as the Musical Ambassador of the American Combat Soldier, serving as an outreach asset for the U.S. Army Forces Command, headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Jazz Guardians, a 21-member big band, tours the country paying tribute to the big bands of yesteryear, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, and Woody Herman. It has collaborated with artists such as Louis Bellson, Cab Calloway, Bill Watrous and Jamey Abersold.

Visitors are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs, though no outside food or beverages may be brought in. A catered dinner is available; cost is $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers; reserved table and dinner for eight members $150, nonmembers $200.

For information, call 770-534-2787 or visit