November 1, 2023

15th Annual Silver Spring ‘Tribute to America's Veterans Concert’ on Wednesday, Nov. 8, Will Feature Brazilian Bossa Nova Music of the ‘Gigi Mac Band’

The 15th Annual “Tribute to America's Veterans Concert” from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, will feature the Brazilian Bossa Nova music of the Gigi Mac Band. The free event, at American Legion Post 41, Cissel-Saxon, in Silver Spring, will have Major General (ret.) Richard W. Thomas as its keynote speaker. The program is presented by Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.

American Legion Post 41 is located at 905 Silgo Ave. in Silver Spring. All are welcome to the event. Veterans are encouraged to wear military attire.

Tickets are not required, but RSVPs would be appreciated to

The Gigi Mac Band performs an array of music from Brazil including Bossa Nova, Samba, MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) and Baiao. The band features an ensemble of excellent musicians including Gigi MacLaughlin, John Lee, Juan Megna and Steve Sachse.

From the northeast of Brazil, Gig MacLaughlin studied piano and accordion at the Mario Mascarenhas School. She later left these instruments to play rebolo percussion and melodica. She is also a singer.

Gigi has been a well-known musician in the Washington area for 30 years, She has performed at Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. John Lee is a composer and guitarist who is active in the Washington music scene. He earned a BFA in Jazz Performance from the Mannes Jazz and Contemporary Music Program at the New School. Lee can be heard on more than 20 recorded albums as sideman and on five albums as leader.

Major General Thomas is a physician healthcare executive and is the associate vice president, dean and chief medical officer at the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Eastern Campus in Martinsburg, W. Va. He most recently served as the sixth president of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Dr. Thomas retired as a major general from the Army with more than 26 years of service. During his career, he commanded at multiple levels and served in numerous key staff assignments, culminating as the director of healthcare operations and the chief medical officer for the Defense Health Agency. Major General Thomas deployed multiple times in support of combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Panama.

Dr. Thomas has been recognized with numerous awards and decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Superior Service Medal (2), the Legion of Merit (3), the Bronze Star Medal (2) and multiple other military awards and decorations.