Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WWP strikes up the band? Or not?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:53 AM

  • Screenshot from the American Patriots Jazz Orchestra website

As a follow-up to our story in this week's issue
about the Wounded Warrior Project, we've encountered conflicting stories involving WWP's efforts at bringing in money.

On one hand, Doyle Combs, owner of Heartsong Studios and leader of the American Patriots Jazz Orchestra, says his group has an "arrangement with WWP to help raise money." The band's website says it was "created to support the Wounded Warrior Project of America."

But WWP spokesman Rob Louis disagrees, saying via email, "They are not affiliated with Wounded Warrior Project, and do not fundraise for us."

Combs gives a different story.

"The arrangement I have with them is, I can operate independent Wounded Warriors benefit shows and they will approve each show," Combs says, "and when they approve it as a benefit, I’m able to take our expenses out and then write them a check. That’s legal. Once they approve that particular show, they will send Wounded Warrior materials and we pass those out at the door, and I recognize wounded warriors from the area wherever I am."

To book a show, one must fill out a "performance request" that names Wounded Warrior Project as the cause and dictates size of the venue and ticket prices.

The orchestra is comprised of active duty and retired musicians from the armed services. "Most are former Falconnaires," Combs says, referring to the Air Force Academy Band.

So far, the band hasn't booked any gigs, but is working with an agent, Combs reports. "All I have to do is get approval through the national [WWP] office in Jacksonville, Florida, then the events office in Jacksonville, Florida, will let this office know that we’re going to be doing it."

He continues,"They send out emails of our presentation to all their alumni, people who give to the warriors every month."

Combs hopes the band can arrange for a concert in Colorado Springs, but he's also looking to book a tour in Texas on behalf of WWP.

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