- Associated Press - Sunday, February 2, 2014

SITKA, Alaska (AP) - As they say in show business, the show will go on.

Federal budget cuts have prevented the traditional big band from appearing at the annual Sitka JazzFest later this week, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported (https://is.gd/x01Pja).

The band was to have been the Greatlanders U.S. Air Force Band.

These musicians are a traditional mainstay of the festival, but sequestration means they will be staying put at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks.

“We booked these big band artists and all of a sudden we don’t have a big band and so what’s happened is one of those things that can only happen in Sitka - this ridiculous little fishing town is so well connected,” said one of the organizers, Sitka High School band director John DePalatis.

He and the other organizer, Blatchley Middle band director Mike Kernin, started calling around to people and put a makeshift big band together in time for the festival, which runs from Thursday through Saturday.

“One of the trombone players, I think, is a buddy of Mike’s from his masters’ program who just flew himself up from Olympia, Wash.,” DePalatis said. “Basically these folks are just doing it for a plane ticket and, you know, a bowl of cereal or two. It’s sort of like a big band on the cheap, and it’s great.”

Fronting the band will be Carmen Bradford, a vocalist who sang with the Count Basie Orchestra for nine years.


Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, https://www.sitkasentinel.com/



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