Jazz Ambassadors Trumpet
THE UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND FROM WASHINGTON, DC
Sergeant Major Kevin Watt
Sergeant Major Kevin Watt is the Element Leader for the Jazz Ambassadors. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, he earned a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Hope College. He has performed with a number of renowned musicians, including Christian McBride, Geri Allen, Phil Woods, Arturo Sandoval, Eric Marienthal, J.J. Johnson, Dick Oatts, and Butch Miles, and has recorded with vocalist Sara Jones, Trio Da Paz, the Jerry Ascione Big Band, and the University of North Texas One O’ Clock Lab Band. SGM Watt also previously served as recording producer helping to engineer and produce more than ten recordings for The U.S. Army Field Band.
Sergeant Major John Altman
Originally from Long Island, New York, Sergeant Major John Altman joined The U.S. Army Field Band in 1999. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at Centre College of Kentucky, SGM Altman performed professionally in the Miami and Chicago areas before completing his Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance at Northern Illinois University. Since joining the Army Field Band, he has performed in the Concert Band trumpet section (1999-2012), Embassy Brass Quintet, Chamber Brass, and The Federal Brass Instrumentalists. As a lead trumpet player, he has performed and recorded with artists such as Ernie Watts, Slide Hampton, John Fedchock, Harold Jones, Al Martino, Marcus Roberts, Claudio Roditi, and Cecil Bridgewater. SGM Altman is the Road Manager for the Jazz Ambassadors and is an official unit photographer for The U.S. Army Field Band.
Master Sergeant Liesl Whitaker
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Master Sergeant Liesl Whitaker attended Appalachian State University and the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. She joined the Army Blues in 2000, becoming the first woman to win a lead position in a premier U.S. military jazz ensemble. She repeated this feat with the Jazz Ambassadors of The U.S. Army Field Band in 2012. MSG Whitaker has performed and/or recorded with the Ed Palermo Big Band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the WDR Big Band of Cologne, Germany, the Madison Square Garden production of The Wizard of Oz, and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, of which she is a charter member. She performed extensively on Broadway prior to her military service. She resides in Maryland with her son and daughter.
Sergeant First Class Thomas C. Davis
Born in Arkansas and raised in Arlington, Texas, Sergeant First Class Thomas Davis began playing trumpet at the age of 11 and later attended James Martin High School. He received his undergraduate education from the University of North Texas, where he performed with the prestigious One and Two O’clock Lab Bands. Before joining the Jazz Ambassadors in 2013, SFC Davis was an active freelance musician and horn arranger in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. He has performed with Gladys Knight, The Temptations, and Dave Brubeck, and has recorded with various gospel acts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. SFC Davis also enjoys composing music, playing electric bass, and working out with kettlebells.