The Kennedy Center

U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note


The Airmen of Note is the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. Created in 1950 to carry on the tradition of Major Glenn Miller's Army Air Corps dance band, today the “Note” features 18 of the most talented jazz musicians in the country and is one of the last touring big bands. As a result, it has earned an international reputation as one of the finest and most versatile big bands of its kind in the world.

Through the years, the Airmen of Note has presented its exciting brand of big band jazz to audiences throughout the United States, dozens of countries in Europe and Asia, as well as back home in the Washington, D.C., area. The group’s successful delivery of their recorded music to millions of fans over hundreds of media outlets worldwide is validated by industry measures, including the JazzWeek jazz chart.

The Airmen of Note's steadfast commitment to musical excellence and reputation for setting the highest standards has earned the respect of the world's foremost jazz artists. This has led to many collaborative efforts, recordings and performances with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. In 1990, the Airmen of Note established the Jazz Heritage Series, featuring the “Note” in concert with legendary icons of jazz. Artists that have participated in this series include Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Kurt Elling, Paquito D’Rivera, Nicholas Payton, Karrin Allyson and many others. Each year, the Jazz Heritage Series reaches millions over National Public Radio, scores of independent jazz radio stations, satellite radio services and the internet.

Throughout the history of the Airmen of Note, the Glenn Miller sound has remained a central ingredient in the band’s musical heritage. However, the “Note” began to adopt a more contemporary sound in the 1950s and 1960s due largely to a talented stable of staff arrangers, including the legendary Sammy Nestico. Beginning in the 1970s, Senior Master Sergeant Mike Crotty served as the band’s chief arranger for more than 25 years and helped elevate it to the forefront of modern, big band jazz. Today, Master Sergeant Alan Baylock, the group’s current chief arranger, helps maintain a commitment to tradition and “cutting edge” innovation.

In 2010, the Airmen of Note celebrated 60 years as one of our nation’s most revered musical organizations. As it passes this historic milestone, the band will continue to vigorously support the U.S. Air Force by building on its deep and rich musical heritage and tirelessly delivering musical excellence to audiences throughout the United States and around the world.

Watch Past Performances

Video 9/6/2017: USAF Airmen of Note

Join the USAF Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force performing new and classic jazz repertoire.

Video 2/24/2015: U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note

The quintet performs classic and modern jazz standards led by TSgt Grant Langford.

Video 4/21/2014: U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note

The premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force performs as part of the Blues Alley Big Band Jam!.

U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note