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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

Introducing JOI's Mentors! (3 of 3)

Happy New Year to all of our supporters! We have some truly exciting things planned for 2021 and you'll have a front seat to all of it including more from the newly launched JOI Jazz Orchestra comprised of our professional musicians who work with the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra, new recordings from the LVYJO, Band Director Academy in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and more... in addition to our ongoing highly acclaimed educational and outreach programs. Yes, we're staying busy! CHECK OUT THIS PREMIER OF THE JOI JAZZ ORCHESTRA PERFORMING SHERMAN IRBY'S ARRANGEMENT OF "MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY" WITH VOCALIST AND JOI BOARD MEMBER, CLINT HOLMES!

In this our third and final installment in this series, I'll be introducing the JOI LVYJO Mentors who are 100% volunteer. All are professional musicians and many have played on stages worldwide and here at home with some of history's greatest legends during the heyday of Vegas showrooms through today.

All of us at JOI express our deepest gratitude to these outstanding members of the local community who offer their passion and expertise to our students and who in turn, "Make A Difference" in their lives and the community we serve.

Daniel Falcone - Trumpet

Daniel Falcone began working professionally in Las Vegas at age 15. The son of Vincent Falcone, musical director, pianist and conductor for Frank Sinatra, he literally grew up on stage. Starting in high school, Daniel backed the likes of Tony Bennett, Rita Moreno, Jerry Lewis, George Burns, Andy Williams, Jack Jones, Paul Anka and many other headliners on the Las Vegas Strip.

After high school he moved to LA to attend USC and toured and played with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the London Philharmonic. After his time at USC, Danny returned to Las Vegas, playing for many headliners and production shows until he was asked to join the Tom Jones band as the lead trumpet player in 1998. After a 2 year world tour, Dan returned to Las Vegas to perform in a Ricky Martin production, “Storm”, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The musical director was Jerry Lopez, leader of the iconic band Santa Fe. A few years later, Dan joined Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns and has been with the band ever since.

Two years later, Dan joined Paul Anka full-time and toured for many years playing split-lead, then lead trumpet, recording two albums and a DVD. He then joined the Las Vegas production of the Broadway Musical “Hairspray."

Dan performed with Toni Braxton for more than a year before joining the Las Vegas production of the Broadway hit “Jersey Boys.” At this same time, Dan was hired to perform with Bette Midler (The Showgirl Must Go On), for her two and half year run at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace culminating in an HBO concert performance. For the last eight years, Dan has been the lead trumpet player for Celine Dion both in Las Vegas and around the world on tour.

Daniel has most recently been hired to play lead trumpet with Lady Gaga on her new Jazz and Piano show.

TV credits include Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The American Country Music Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, The American Music Awards, Lionel Richie and Friends, The American Country Music Awards, The Latin Grammys, The Michael Parkinson Show on BBC, The BET Awards, Men Strike Back on VH1, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, The Today Show, Good Morning America and has been a member of the Jerry Lewis Telethon Orchestra. Dan has also performed and recorded with many artists including Alicia Keys, Kenny Loggins, Luis Miguel, Christopher Cross, D’Angelo, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Bill Champlin, Cheap Trick, Gladys Knight, Patti Austin, Martin Nievera, Frankie Valli, Vince Gill, Victor Manuelle, Destiny’s Child, Hunter Hayes, Big and Rich, Barry Manilow, Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Brian Bromberg, Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Jordan Sparks, Frank Sinatra Jr., Jon Secada, Gino Vannelli, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Hugh Jackman and Maren Morris, Dwight Yoakam and most recently recorded for Kanye West’s new album “Jesus is King” and performed at Lincoln Center with Kanye West’s Opera “Mary.”

Wes Marshall – Trumpet

Wes Marshall is a freelance trumpet player and para-professional for the Las Vegas Academy for the Performing Arts and other schools. Wes has been a mentor for the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra since its inception.

Wes grew up in Mesa, Arizona and studied Jazz Performance at Mesa Community College and Arizona State University. Since the beginning of his professional career, Wes has been highly in demand as a first call musician. While in Arizona, Wes performed with many headliners and Broadway shows. He moved to Branson, MO in 1999 where he played lead trumpet in the Lawrence Welk Orchestra for one season before moving to Las Vegas to perform with the Wayne Newton Orchestra for six years.

Mr. Marshall has performed with and made many wonderful friends the past 21 years in Las Vegas, NV.

Lauren Cordell - Strings

Lauren Cordell was born in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 5th, 1980. She began violin lessons at four years old, earning a violin scholarship at the Nevada School of the Arts a year later. In elementary, junior, and high school, she was awarded Superior ratings each year at the Clark County Solo & Ensemble Festival and at the All-State Solo & Ensemble Festival. Mrs. Cordell was featured in the Young Artists Recital series in 1998 at the Reed Whipple Cultural Arts Center. In 1999, Lauren was awarded a quartet scholarship to the Southern Utah University Quartet Festival. Other awards include the Nevada School of the Arts Scholarship from 1985 - 1999, the Bolognini Scholarship Awards in 1989 and 1999, and the Liberace Scholarship and UNLV Music Scholarship from 1999 – 2003.

Lauren’s professional career was launched during high school with performing engagements in the Nevada Symphony Orchestra and the Henderson Civic Symphony. In college, she went on to perform with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. Later, she was one of the youngest members ever to win a tenured position with the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

Lauren has also performed in major headline shows, videos, and recordings including Jean Michael Danton’s The Sorcerer, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, Frank Sinatra’s Memorial Concert, The B.E.T. Awards, The Latin Grammys, The Country Music Awards, The Billboard Awards, NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera – The Las Vegas Spectacular, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, Walt Disney’s Lion King, Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers and many others.

Mrs. Cordell is currently performing with Lady Gaga’s Jazz Piano Show at the Park MGM in Las Vegas. She enjoys performing on a few instruments including Violin, Viola and Mandolin. She is diversified in many genres, including Jazz, Rock, Pop, Country and her favorite, Gypsy Jazz. She also enjoys teaching all ages and feels it’s never too late to appreciate fine music!

Kenny Rampton – JOI Founder, Artistic Advisor, JOI President

New York City-based trumpet player, arranger, and composer Kenny Rampton is a full-time member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO) and is the man behind the iconic sound of the trumpet on the television show Sesame Street. With over three decades of experience as a successful recording and performing artist, Rampton is deeply committed to sharing his passion and knowledge of music with students from around the world. In addition to his role as an education instructor for Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), Rampton is the founder and artistic director of his own nonprofit educational organization Jazz Outreach Initiative, based in his hometown of Las Vegas, NV.

Throughout his long and illustrious career, his signature style and versatility has led to many prestigious engagements, including touring as a member of the Ray Charles Orchestra, performing with notable jazz artists and ensembles such as Illinois Jacquet, Lionel Hampton, Gunther Schuller, the Christian McBride’s Big Band, the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Bebo Valdes’ Afro-Cuban All-Stars, and the Mingus Big Band, and playing in a multitude of Broadway shows, including Anything Goes, Finian’s Rainbow, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Wiz, Young Frankenstein, The Color Purple, Spamalot, The Producers, In the Heights, and Chicago. Rampton has also worked with several pop artists and groups, including Katy Perry, Matchbox Twenty, and Chaka Khan.

Millions of people have heard Rampton play without even realizing it. He can be heard in television and radio commercials for a wide array of products and services; some of his most notable work in this realm includes jingles for Applebee’s, Arby’s, AT&T, Burger King, Charles Schwab, Coca Cola, Disneyland, Folger’s, Hershey’s, Kool-Aid, Mercedes, Old Spice, Pepsi, Popeye’s Chicken, Red Lobster, Verizon, Wal-Mart, and Wendy’s, to name a few.

In addition to his trumpet playing, Rampton is an accomplished composer and bandleader in his own right. “Until Next Time,” an original composition from his first solo album, Moon Over Babylon, was featured in the 2017 Broadway revival of Six Degrees of Separation. In 2015, Rampton collaborated with Bill Sims, Jr. on the music for Paradise Blue, a play written by award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. In 2018, Rampton expanded his music for the play into “The Paradise Blue Suite,” which he premiered with the Kenny Rampton Octet at Dizzy’s Club at JALC. (Look for the release of “The Paradise Blue Suite—Live at Dizzy’s,” coming soon.)

When not touring or performing with the JLCO, Rampton regularly gives workshops and masterclasses, and serves as artist-in-residence for schools across the United States and abroad. He enjoys teaching private students from all over the world and has taught trumpet as an adjunct faculty member at The New School in New York City.


Stay tuned for more exciting announcements and programs from Jazz Outreach Initiative!

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