FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Sept. 9, 2011) - The U.S. Army Forces Command's Jazz Guardians is taking its talents on the road with an "Ohio River Valley Summer Jazz Tour," Sept. 13-20. The group's Soldier/musicians will perform public concerts and hold master classes and clinics with music students at schools along the way.

Admission to all the concerts is free, and no tickets are required.

Made up from the 64 Soldiers of The Army Ground Forces Band (, the Jazz Guardians is a 13-member ensemble whose primary mission is to maintain and promote the uniquely American art form of Jazz. Members of the Guardians also make up the smaller Jazz Combo and Dixie Band, both of which will participate in the tour.

"Our audiences enjoy the spontaneity, energy and creativity inherent in Jazz." says Sgt. 1st Class John Ellis, the Jazz Guardians' leader. "And they leave with a much deeper appreciation of this cool and important music form, as well as for the outstanding talent and musicality of the Jazz Guardians and its members."

In recognition of the fact that the Smithsonian Institution has declared 2011 the year of the Female Jazz Artist, the Jazz Guardians will feature the vocal talents of its Sgt. Shirley Dirden.

The Jazz Guardians' tour schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 8 p.m.: A Jazz Combo clinic and Jazz Guardians concert at Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky.

Wednesday, Sept.14: A master class with music students at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

Thursday, Sept.15: Jazz Combo and Dixie Band performances at Rineyville Elementary School, Rineyville, Ky.

Thursday, Sept.15: Jazz Combo clinic with music students at Elizabethtown Community College, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Thursday, Sept.15, 7 p.m.: Jazz Guardians concert at the Elizabethtown State Theater, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 5 p.m.: Jazz Guardian concert with guest soloist Jazz saxophonist and music educator Jamey Aebersold, as part of the Heritage Festival at Riverfront Amphitheatre, New Albany, Ind.

Sunday, Sept. 18, 4 p.m.: Jazz Guardian concert, Castle High School Theater, Newburgh, Ind.

Monday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.: Jazz Guardian concert, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.

Tuesday, Sept 20, 7:30 p.m.: Jazz Guardian concert, Frankfort Grand Theater, Frankfort, Ky.

The Army Ground Forces Band provides musical support for the Army's largest command, U.S. Army Forces Command ( The band and its various ensembles, or Music Performance Teams, travel the nation, performing at local, regional and national events.

All 64 Soldiers assigned to The Army Ground Forces Band have passed highly selective auditions and are among the finest musicians in the United States Army Band Program. The majority of the band's members have studied music at some of the finest universities and conservatories.

In addition to being highly trained professional musicians, members of the AGFB maintain all basic Soldier skills (e.g., physical fitness, marksmanship, first aid) to the standards demanded by the U.S. Army for all its Soldiers.