The Kennedy Center

U.S. Navy Band


The United States Navy Band is the Navy's premier musical organization in Washington, D.C. Led by Captain Kenneth Collins, the organization includes 172 enlisted musicians and four officers.

The Navy Band Ceremonial Unit performs music at official military, government and other special events. Led by the band's drum major, Senior Chief Musician Michael P. Bayes, the group's varied duties include arrival ceremonies at the White House and Pentagon, as well as changes of command, military retirement ceremonies and funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremonial band also supports the Navy's mission by providing music for community events around the National Capital region. Regularly staffed by approximately sixty musicians who rotate between the Ceremonial and Concert Bands, the Ceremonial Band's size may vary from 15 to 99 pieces based on mission requirements. The unit is routinely augmented with members from other Navy Band performing units when very large ceremonial bands are required. The Ceremonial Band typically provides support for more than 1,300 official ceremonies annually.

The Navy Ceremonial Band has participated in many significant national events including 21 presidential inaugurals, our nation's bicentennial celebration in New York Harbor, the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty, and the U.S. Constitution bicentennial commemoration. The Navy Band performed at the 1997 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Dedication Ceremony, the 1996 Korean War Veterans Memorial celebration and also the World War II Memorial Dedication Ceremony. Additional prominent appearances include the 1991 Desert Storm "National Victory Celebration" Parades in Washington, D.C. and New York City and, in 2000, the 111th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Ceremonial Band at the Quebec City International Festival of Military BandsThe Ceremonial Band has made a number of high-profile international appearances. In 1999, the band was privileged to be the guest of honor at the first "Festival International de Musiques Militaires de Quebec" in historic Quebec City, Canada. The Band returned to Quebec again in 2009 to be featured for the festival's tenth anniversary. The Norwegian Military Tattoo in Oslo, Norway also highlighted the unit in 2004 during its tenth anniversary event. In 1998 and 1992, the band was featured at the International Swedish Army Tattoo in Stockholm.  In 1996 the band was honored to perform for the 300th Anniversary of the Russian Fleet in St. Petersburg, and at The Baltic International Festival of the Fleets in Kaliningrad, Russia.

Watch Past Performances

Video 8/14/2018: U.S. Navy Band

The U.S. Navy Band’s premier country-bluegrass ensemble performs a wide variety of favorites as well as original compositions. The concert culminates with a salute to veterans.

Video 2/5/2012: U.S. Navy Band

The band presents Navy Pioneers: A History of African Americans in Navy Music, a multimedia performance that tells the history of African Americans in the Navy, shown through a variety of live music, narration, photos, video, and audio. From William Grant Still to John Coltrane, this program highlights the significant contributions of African American composers and performers to our rich musical culture.