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  • Donny Thompson, Exec. Dir.

1st Day of "Jammin' With JOI" Provides Students with Fun, Relaxed, and Supportive Free Summer Program

Jazz Outreach Initiative's popular free summer program, "Jammin' With JOI," began its third year on Wednesday May 29 and will continue through Wednesday July 31, 2024. Students from middle through high school were joined by JOI's teacher, Eddie Rich, and his team of professional jazz mentors to study jazz language and play with them and other students from across Southern Nevada in a fun, relaxed, and supportive atmosphere. Mentors include UNLV Div. of Jazz & Commercial Music Director, Professor Dave Loeb, CCSD band director Amy Crosley, and Bassist Ben Bernstein. The program is headed by JOI co-founder and VP Education & Programming, Gary Cordell, who was also on site and even jammed with the kids along with UNLV Jazz Professor Nathan Tanouye and Trumpeter Lance Phelps who stopped by.

Students do not have to register, can come any time, and are encouraged to bring friends. They do not have to be members of Jazz Outreach Initiative's other programs and all skill levels are welcome. JOI believes jazz is a great unifier, teaching tolerance and patience, work ethic, listening skills, negotiation, and collaboration, and more. Students attending any week can expect to be supported by the instructors and their peers as they develop friendships beyond their home band rooms.

Every student who attends gets to play. Those who have never improvised before learn easy simple solos together with others as they become more confident and comfortable over time. Those with more experience grow by helping others while gaining additional knowledge and skills from our professional jazz musicians, mentors, and educators. All students learn about jam session etiquette and procedure as well as learning how to navigate chord changes and song form. "Jammin' With JOI" is created and facilitated by JOI V.P. Education & Programming, Gary Cordell.

For more information about Jammin' with JOI, visit today!

Questions about the program can reach out directly to Mr. Cordell at

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