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U.S. Coast Guard Trad Jazz Band plays Waterfront Park Thursday

It's fun to watch any of the numerous "offshoot" groups of the United States Coast Guard Band play off campus and in a civilian-happy setting.

For one thing, they typically wear their official uniforms, which provokes a contextual inference from audience members that this will be an excellently performed but presumably staid recitation of marches and patriotic fanfare because that's what service bands DO. 

Consider Thursday's show by the U.S. Coast Guard Traditional Jazz Band at New London's Waterfront Park. And don't let the formal wear fool you. This septet has dazzled in New Orleans at Preservation Hall and at Mardi Gras; the Blue Note Club in Taipei City, Taiwan; the John F. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, D.C.; and at jazz festivals in Sacramento and Sun Valley.

Or, hey, for all I know, they'll show up tonight in hipster attire, each wearing a replica of Miles Davis's iconic bolero hat or a Charles Mingus porkpie model or that weird beanie favored by Thelonious Monk.

Appearances aside, the show will flat out SWING.

United States Coast Guard Traditional Jazz Band, Downtown Live!, 5-9:30 p.m. Thursday, New London Waterfront Park, directly behind Union Station; The Clams and 9th Wave appear in support; free; facebook.com/NewLondonMusicFestivals.

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