The Commanders Jazz Ensemble, from the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, share America’s heritage through performing the rich sounds of big band jazz. Comprised of 20 full-time professional Airmen-musicians, The Commanders keep an active schedule performing concerts and giving music clinics throughout the West Coast of the U.S.
Declared a National Treasure by Congress in 1987, jazz is America’s only indigenous art form, and The Commanders Jazz Ensemble keep a historic flame alive by playing both classic big band favorites, as well as modern-day compositions and arrangements.
The Commanders represent the men and women serving in the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command and promote military recruiting and community relations objectives. They honor those who have served in our military, inspire American citizens to increased patriotism and service, and connect with local communities on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. The excellence demonstrated by these Airmen musicians is a reflection of the excellence displayed by Airmen serving around the globe.
The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base, California. The only active duty Air Force band west of the Rockies, the Band of the Golden West is comprised of about 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Cristina Moore Urrutia. In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings, and 6 recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.
The organization offers several outstanding performing groups: Concert Band, Ceremonial Marching Band, Commanders jazz ensemble, Mobility popular music ensemble, Travis Brass quintet, Golden West Winds woodwind quintet, and Galaxy popular music ensemble. Additionally, the Band of the Golden West provides solo vocalists for the performance of our National Anthem and solo buglers for Taps details.
The Band of the Golden West has performed for gubernatorial inaugurations, with guest artists such as Marvin Stamm, Arturo Sandoval and Bob Hope, and for the fans of Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, and Infineon NASCAR races. In the last 10 years the band has led off three Tournament of Roses parades in Pasadena, California. In 2004, the USAF Band of the Golden West was honored to support the interment ceremony of President Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley, California, an event viewed by a global TV audience of over 400 million. More recent events include featured performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Pentatonix.