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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

Announcing Mr. Curt Miller, Vice President, JOI Board of Directors

We are pleased to announce the first in our series spotlighting our growth from a working board to a governing board with our new Vice President, Mr. Curt Miller.

First, we must properly acknowledge the incredible hard work and dedication of JOI's co-founding Vice President, Mr. Gary Cordell. Since JOI's inception in spring 2017, Gary was simultaneously our Board Vice President and our Director of Programming. When Gary and President/Artistic Director Kenny Rampton conceived of Jazz Outreach Initiative, no one could have guessed how quickly we would grow or how far we could reach into the heart of the community with our Mission. And that outstanding accomplishment comes in no small part due to Gary's boots on the ground involvement. As JOI's board transitions in preparation for our next growth phase, a new set of priorities comes to focus and we align our particular skill sets and passions accordingly. In his voluntary move to make room for a new Vice President for the Board, Gary assumes an invaluable dedicated role as our Director of Programming where he will be responsible for developing and leading all aspects of the many programs with which we currently serve the community and others planned for the future. Gary will serve also as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.

We are pleased to formally announce our new Vice President, Board of Directors, Mr. Curt Miller. Curt Miller received his education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in music and was subsequently hired by the prestigious Lew Elias Relief Orchestra in Las Vegas to play the lead trombone chair. Over the next 17 years he played the lead trombone chair at the Desert Inn Hotel, The Frontier with Sigfried and Roy, the Caesar’s Palace orchestra, and ultimately became orchestra contractor and assistant musical director for Steve Wynn’s Mirage, Golden Nugget and Treasure Island hotels.

Curt left the full time music business in 1995 and became CEO of a national leadership training company. In 2002 he started his own technology firm “Anexeon” which is now one of the largest in the state. Curt remained involved in professional music however, and In 2018 curt was hired to play the lead trombone chair for the Lady Gaga Jazz and Piano shows at the Park Theatre.

In joining our organization, Curt said, “During these past 5 or so years I had been looking for a non-profit organization that I could give my time and experience to when I became aware of the Jazz Outreach Initiative organization. It was exactly what I had been looking for. Also, I have known both Kenny and Gary for many years and I know their hearts are in exactly the right place. When they asked me to join as VP it was a very easy decision! I believe this organization can become a major influence in the music community both locally and nationally."

Curt is also a highly accomplished sound engineer and volunteered to engineer our stage sound for the 2020 Essentially Ellington Regional High School Jazz Band Festival this past winter. EE20 was the largest regional Essentially Ellington festival in the nation and produced a nearly sold out audience for the final concert at UNLV Ham Hall. As Covid required an immediate pivot to digital learning soon after the February launch of the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra, Curt's knowledge and experience were invaluable in seamlessly transitioning to distance learning master classes and video recorded performances all done individually and remotely by each student and combined to produce full ensemble recordings of professional level jazz charts which were viewed worldwide. This semester, the 2020-21 LVYJO is being taught again with Curt's help through Microsoft Teams with digital breakout rooms for sectional rehearsals.

We hope you will all join us in celebrating this milestone in our organizational development by welcoming Mr. Curt Miller. You can reach out to Curt at

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