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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

Fred & Gladys Katen Family Trust Becomes Major Sponsor of Vegas Regional Essentially Ellington

Corporate Sponsors Still Needed for Nation's Largest Essentially Ellington Regional High School Jazz Band Festival In Las Vegas

Licensed to Jazz Outreach Initiative by Jazz at Lincoln Center as its Las Vegas affiliate and Co-Hosted on the campus of UNLV by the UNLV School of Music Division of Jazz & Commercial Music, the Las Vegas Regional Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Festival is the largest of the nearly dozen Essentially Ellington regionals in the nation, leading into the spring national festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.


February 17th and 18th, the 4th annual regional in Las Vegas will bring 17 high school big bands from across the southwest to Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall for two full days of performances, clinics, masterclasses, jam sessions, and a final evening concert all in celebration of Duke Ellington. In January 2020, the final concert attracted an audience of more than 1,800 fans!


Tickets will be announced shortly once they're available through the UNLV Box Office for the 7pm final concert on Saturday February 18, 7pm, in the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Saturday evening ticket holders may also access the rest of the festival throughout the two days to catch various high school band performances. The full festival schedule will be posted to the JOI website and announced along with the ticket link.


The concert will feature outstanding student soloists from the participating high school bands, the award-winning UNLV Jazz Ensemble 1 under the direction of Dir. Dave Loeb and Nathan Tanouye, and an opening performance by world-renouned jazz artists and educators forming the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival Sextet including festival clinicians Dave Loeb (piano), Rodney Whitaker (bass), Jeff Hamilton (drums), Curt Miller (trombone), Camille Thurman-Green (saxophone), and Kenny Rampton (JOI and EE Artistic Dir., trumpet).


Jazz Outreach Initiative would like to recognize Gee and Fred Katen for their generous $7,500 sponsorship of this event to help cover JOI's costs. JOI's expenses include costs for lanyards and IDs for approximately 600 participants, volunteers, catering costs over two full days, sound engineering, hotels and travel expenses for festival clinicians and adjudicators, performance and clinician fees for artists/judges, and more.


Jazz Outreach Initiative would still like to welcome and recognize other individual and corporate sponsors to assist with costs to produce this world-class nationally recognized event. Please reach out for sponsorship information directly to JOI Exec. Dir., Donny Thompson at DonnyT@joi-lv.org.

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