Jazz Ambassadors Saxophone
THE UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND FROM WASHINGTON, DC
Sergeant Major Andrew Layton
Sergeant Major Andrew Layton was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, but raised in the great state of Washington. After attending Kentridge High School in Kent, Washington, a school nationally recognized for its excellence in music, he attended the Berklee School of Music. After two years, he transferred to the University of North Texas. While there, he played lead alto saxophone with the prestigious Two O’Clock and One O’Clock Lab Bands. SGM Layton graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1999, and shortly thereafter became the lead alto saxophonist with the Jazz Ambassadors. SGM Layton and his wife Debbie have been married since 2001 and welcomed their first child, Sidney, in the summer of 2009.
Master Sergeant Bradford J. Danho
Master Sergeant Bradford J. Danho is a native of Cranston, Rhode Island, and has played tenor saxophone with the Jazz Ambassadors since 2008. MSG Danho earned a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas, where he played lead alto saxophone with the world-renowned One O’Clock Lab Band and shared the stage with jazz legends such as Phil Woods and Benny Golson. He also received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. He has studied saxophone with James Riggs and Michael Menapace and flute with Mary-Karen Clardy. MSG Danho has shared the stage with such artists as Bob Mintzer, Maria Schneider, Pete Christlieb, Bill Holman, Eddie Daniels, and Dick Oatts. He is a two-time alumnus of the Henry Mancini Institute and was a finalist in the 2004 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Competition.
Master Sergeant Patrick Shook
Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, Master Sergeant Pat Shook currently plays tenor saxophone and woodwinds with the Jazz Ambassadors. MSG Shook earned a Master of Music degree at the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Idaho. When not touring the country with the Jazz Ambassadors, he maintains an active teaching, recording, and performing schedule in the Washington, DC, and Baltimore areas. As a Summit Records recording artist, MSG Shook has released two albums as co-leader: “The Shook-Russo-Young Quartet featuring Greg Gisbert” and “So Far From Home.”
Staff Sergeant Mercedes Beckman
Staff Sergeant Mercedes Beckman was born in the Midwest, grew up in Florida, and lived in New York before joining The U.S. Army Field Band. She holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Florida. SSG Beckman has played with some of the biggest names in jazz and mainstream music, sharing the bandstand with Jeff Tain Watts, Arturo O’Farrill and the Latin Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Sanabria Multiverse, Marcus Printup of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Christian McBride, Idina Menzel, Don Braden, Diane Schuur, members of the Count Basie Orchestra, Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Eddie Allen, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and more. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Jazz Standard, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Smalls, NJPAC, the NYC marathon, the Apollo theatre, Iridium, Catalina’s Jazz Club (LA), and the North Sea Jazz Club in the Netherlands, among others, and can be heard on a number of recordings as a sideperson. SSG Beckman led a sextet for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz for Young People program, performing educational outreach concerts throughout NYC schools and has been substitute faculty at the Manhattan School of Music pre-college program, filling in for jazz and classical courses. She is currently adjunct jazz faculty at Anne Arundel Community College.
Staff Sergeant Michael Chamberlin
Staff Sergeant Michael Chamberlin is an alumnus of the University of Maryland (DMA), the University of North Texas (MM), and Bowling Green State University (BA), where he studied saxophone performance, jazz, and education. SSG Chamberlin joined the United States Army in 2013 and has been a member of The Jazz Ambassadors since 2017. Prior to this assignment SSG Chamberlin served in Sembach, Germany, as a member of the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus, and spent one year in Seoul, South Korea with the Eighth U.S. Army Band. In 2018 SSG Chamberlin presented a master class on jazz improvisation and bebop scales at the World Saxophone Congress in Zagreb, Croatia. Additionally, he holds extensive performance experience with big bands, jazz combos, and popular musical ensembles. As an educator, SSG Chamberlin teaches privately throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area.