Band to team with music legends for TV special

  • Published
Air Force Band members from here will be in the national spotlight in a Veterans Day extravaganza when the symphony orchestra and Singing Sergeants join celebrities and recording artists Nov. 10 on public television.

Band members collaborate with two-time Grammy winner Patti LaBelle, country western singer Clint Black, Academy Award-winning actor Cliff Robertson, and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro.

The program entitled "America's Veterans: A Musical Tribute" will be broadcast on American Forces Network Prime Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. viewer time overseas for servicemembers and their families stationed overseas.

The Veterans Day special was recorded in high definition at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Md., and is dedicated to our military heroes from operations spanning five wars and all branches of the armed forces.

"It's so nice to be here singing for the veterans, singing for our Soldiers who are fighting -- the young men and women who are trying to keep it real wherever they are," said rhythm and blues legend Ms. LaBelle, who sang "I'll Stand By You" during the performance. 

Mr. Black, a singer-songwriter, joined Ms. LaBelle in expressing his deep gratitude for the selfless sacrifices military men and women offer daily in defense of liberty. 

"We owe so much thanks to so many of you in uniform and those veterans who have given us so much freedom to enjoy," said Mr. Black, who sang "The Shoes You're Wearing" for the broadcast.

Mr. Shimabukuro's played classical to rock compositions with his ukulele for the show, including George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." 

Air Force Band Airmen set the tone for the evening's patriotic celebration with several inspirational numbers including "Summon the Heroes" and "Who Are The Brave?"

Mr. Robertson will honor five American heroes in the Strathmore audience -- one from each branch of the U.S. military -- with short, poignant vignettes that capture the essence of their actions in operations spanning five wars. 

Senior Airman Scott Palomino, an Air Force aerial surveillance technician in Iraq who suffered severe injuries when a mortar round landed in his tent, is honored during the show. He is now a disabled combat veteran and amputee.

"What a great opportunity this is to remember the sacrifices our veterans have made to ensure America's freedom," said Col. Dennis Layendecker, the Air Force Band commander. "We're equally proud to honor our joint armed forces team members serving around the world today; they are our veterans of tomorrow."

For more information about the show, including local broadcast times, please see The Air Force Band Web site at

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