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Artisan Air:  new take on military music

A new streaming services gives new meaning to the term “military music”- it’s not your father’s marching band

When you hear the term “military music” you usually think of a marching band, maybe in a fourth of July 4 parade with musicians from a nearby military base or the local reserve unit. The music usually consists of trumpets and slide trombones punctuated by bass drums and tubas, all in a beat that has been embedded in our brains as “marching”.  

A new video streaming service offers a series with a new take on “military music” – country, rap, singer/songwriter, blues, R&B…all available on popular platforms and live shows.  The series is called Artisan Air and features musicians and other artists who are active-duty soldiers or reservists in the US Air Force and Space Force.  These are professionals – musicians with albums out, lives shows, and streams. And they are soldiers.  

The series premier kicks off with episodes highlighting a mix of talent including visual artists, musicians, and poets. The series was recorded from September through December 2022 in Austin, Texas.   My interest of course is in the musicians, one of whom, Nina Sophia Pacheco, has been featured in the Hot Half DozenSeveral other musicians stood out in the 28-episode premier, especially  Staff Sargent Kenneth Diaz Figueroa , USAF Band of the West Vocalist Adrianna Trachell, and USAF Officer Cyndeneé Alyxzam

Puerto Rico-born Kenneth Diaz Figueroa – his music name is Yahmil – comes from a musical family and started playing and releasing songs at an early age. His rap is both hard-hitting and melodic, with songs like “Ahora Me Llamas” about your partner realizing what they lost post-breakup, “Conexion” about meaningful connections between a partner or friend, and  “Jeane Apretao” about Yamil’s  admiration for all women no matter their size, personality or background.  Stream on Spotify and Apple Music.  

USAF Band of the West Vocalist Adrianna Trachell is a blues singer with a soft, seductive voice that can bring urgency to a song, or just gentle sadness. Her 2017 extended EP Georgia Summer demonstratesall aspects of that voice from the beat of “Georgia Summer” to the excitement of “Mansion for Mama”. Her recent release “Promises” brings together sophisticated composition with a soaring voice. Stream her on Spotify.

  Cyndeneé Alyxzam says her music is for everyone – it is relatable, with songs on cheating, forgiveness, seeing both sides of a story.   Although she records songs she writes just for herself, they connect with others in a  modern take on soul and blues.  And she accompanies herself on a mean blues guitar. Her voice has a youthful curl to it that belies the wisdom and experience in her lyrics. Video on YouTube and stream or buy on Apple Music.  

You can stream Artisan Air at https://www.aflive.tv/series/artisan-air-207020 or just click on  http://www.AFLive.tv.  The website is /www.TheAFLive.com and you can follow it on Facebook and Instagram. Artisan Air has also released  songs from the episodes to music streaming platforms and assembled a wrap up segment on  the work of 13 musicians and a spoken word poet in a digital album available on various streaming platforms.   Patrick O’Heffernan



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About Patrick O'Heffernan, Music Sin Fronteras (471 Articles)
Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist based in Mexico, with a global following. He focuses on music in English and Spanish that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America, especially Mexico like cumbia, banda, son jarocho, and mariachi. He is also edits a local news website and is a subeditor of a local Spanish language newspaper. Check out his weekly column Music Sin Frontera on Sunday nights.

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