IWAKUNI, Japan --
The U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia Showcase jazz ensemble performed for the local community at the Iwakuni Civic Hall in Iwakuni, Japan, June 16, 2016.
The band of the Pacific-Asia consists of 24 active-duty professional musicians who showcase their talents throughout the Western-Pacific region in support of military and community relations objectives.
"Being here and representing our nation to the local population here in the . . . region gives us a chance to reach out to those who aren't able to see us on a regular basis," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cristina M. Moore Urrutia, commander and conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia.
The atmosphere was lively and interactive as approximately 600 guests watched the service members bring the stage to life with a variety of instrumental and vocal favorites, from early New Orleans jazz to modern compositions.
“This is my first time to hear U.S. service members perform and it was wonderful,” said a Japanese audience member. “It’s a very nice thing they can do and we are really happy to have them here in the small cities like this because we don’t have a lot of opportunities to see this performance.”
Based out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, The Pacific Air Force band was established as the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific at Eglin Field, Florida, in 1941. It is one of 12 U.S. Air Force bands, to include the 15-member detachment group stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Pacific Trends and other protocol groups also perform with the Pacific Air Force band and give an average of 200 performances a year for over 125,000 people.
Hong Kong, Burma, Guam, Singapore, India, Mongolia, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Laos, Korea and Japan are some of the past locations the airmen have performed at for military personnel and foreign communities.
"We want to show the people why we are here and build a better partnership through the band,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ricky Sweum, a saxophonist for the band. “The music speaks all languages and it shows the integration between our nations as allied partners.”
For more information about the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia, visit http://www.bandofthepacific-asia.af.mil/.