Max Impact Kicks Off First Summer Concert Series Since Deployment
by Technical Sgt. Nalani Quintello
6/30/2017 - Washington, D.C. -- Max Impact, the Premier Rock Band of the United States Air Force, will kick off their first summer concert series since last year's ninety-day deployment to Southeast Asia.
Instead of performing around the nation's capital region, Max Impact spent last summer visiting six countries in the Middle East, acting as musical diplomats and positively representing the United States through the soft power asset of music. While deployed, Max Impact built new relationships and strengthened bonds with allies, showcasing popular music at international schools, embassies and NATO military bases throughout Southwest Asia. Although deployments can be gratifying, Max Impact is eager to kick off this year's Upbeat Americana Summer Concert Series at home.
"It's always good to come back home of course, but the experience of being deployed and playing for the troops is one of those experiences that is fulfilling on so many levels. To have the ability to represent the excellence of our deployed Airmen is unquestionably the most rewarding part of this job. With that being said, it's also fun and fulfilling to play for the general public back here in the United States and see the gratitude and patriotism that is displayed towards this country and the military," shared guitarist Senior Master Sgt. Matt Ascione, who has deployed five times.
The beginning of this concert series also marks a new cycle for the band, as the band welcomes its new drummer, Technical Sgt. Gabe Staznik, to his very first summer of performing with the group. As the newest member of the team, Sgt. Staznik reveals, "I am looking forward to finally performing a full summer concert series with Max Impact. Last summer, while Max Impact was deployed, I provided musical support for funerals at Arlington National Cemetery with the Ceremonial Brass. This summer, I am most looking forward to performing at new venues and getting to know the people in our local communities."
Concurrent with Technical Sgt. Staznik's arrival, long time veteran and bassist Master Sgt. Dave Foster will spend his final summer with Max Impact, after twenty-three years of honorable service to the Air Force band program.
"My last summer with Max Impact is bittersweet. I will truly miss playing music with my compatriots, especially after all the success Max Impact has had with original music and videos. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next generation will accomplish with the incredible talent we've acquired in the last couple of years."
From new members to different countries, Max Impact is evolving and shaping into their own diverse sound. Musical director and keyboardist Master Sgt. Jonathan McPherson says, "Whenever you go to a Max Impact concert, you're going to hear a variety of music performed. This summer we're including some popular 80's tunes that we performed on our last deployment. Some of these songs just seem to be timeless, being passed from one generation to the next. Of course, it wouldn't be a Max Impact show unless we performed an original and left you feeling a sense of pride to live in the U.S.A. At the end of the day that is our number one goal."
Catch Max Impact at a variety of historical venues in the capital region this sunny season, embodying the mission of The United States Air Force Band. A special feature concert will take place at the Air Force Memorial on August 4, 2017, where the band will celebrate the heritage, innovation and partnership fostered by the U.S. Air Force in a special tribute entitled Heritage to Horizons: Portraits of Courage. Superintendent and vocalist Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Carson explains, "Summer concerts go hand in hand with our mission to honor our veterans, inspire patriotism and impact the globe. Every summer show we recognize our veterans and salute them for their service, incorporating patriotic messaging and music to reinvigorate and inspire patriotism."
"We strive to constantly innovate, evolve and create performances and products that remain on the cutting edge of the performance industry. Each person on our team provides their own touch on our products and the Air Force story," he added.
As D.C.'s musical ambassadors of the Air Force, Max Impact will continue to share the Air Force story with more original products and powerful live performances. All shows are free and open to the public with no tickets required. For a full list of concerts visit http://www.usafband.af.mil/eventscalendar/index.asp or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/usafmaximpact/. All you need is a willingness to have fun and perhaps a lawn chair for this year's Upbeat Americana Summer Concert Series with your United States Air Force Premier Rock Band, Max Impact.