Combined Joint Task Force 101
U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Gravely, a member of the 101st Airborne Division Dixieland Band and a native of Albany, Ga., plays the clarinet. The band brought music to the soldiers of Task Force Currahee, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, as they ate at the Currahee Café Dining Facility on Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan, March 10. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Todd Christopherson)
03.14.2011 PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Reminiscent of the New Orleans jazz festival, a band’s performance offered diners at Currahee Café on Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan, an escape from the norm, March 12.
The Dixieland Band of the 101st Airborne Division is bringing the sound of “Americana Soul” to the Soldiers of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Currahee, during their visit to Paktika province, March 9-25.
Dixieland consists of six soldier-musicians playing the trombone, drums, clarinet, tuba, saxophone and trumpet. The band has performed for 18 months together and four of them are on their second tour together.
At the Café, they had a surprise visitor. U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin L. Hill, International Security Assistance Forces command sergeant major, who was visiting TF Currahee. Hill, a Memphis, Tenn., native, entered the main dining area as the band performed “Rocky Top Tennessee,” which is one of Hill’s favorite songs.
“It makes me happy to hear my song,” Hill said. “Especially, since I am from Tennessee.”
The band is travelling from FOB Sharana to seven FOBs and combat outposts in Paktika province sharing their music for their brothers- and sisters-in-arms.
“We know we are not a rock band, but we play fun music,” said trumpet player U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lamborn, a native of St. Louis. “What we get out of playing for the Soldiers is seeing that one who stops eating and smiles.”