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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

JOI Announces New Board Leadership

Curt Miller elected as Board President, Dr. Linda Woodson elected as Board Vice President


Jazz Outreach Initiative is entering a new phase of its organizational and programmatic growth as it seeks to continue serving the greater Las Vegas community and other areas of the country aligned to its mission connecting the language of music to the language of life through education, outreach, and performances.


More than a dozen world-class programs, many licensed to “JOI” by Jazz at Lincoln Center, reach an important target demographic in every age group starting with elementary Title 1 schools through college and even our senior population. Plans for a “WeBop” program licensed by Jazz at Lincoln Center which is their award-winning early-childhood education program for little ones and their parents/caregivers are among JOI’s expansion plans to enrich the community, enhance the cultural arts, and ensure America’s great art form, jazz, thrives through our next generations.


After a careful and diligent consideration process, the JOI Board of Directors voted unanimously to elevate current JOI Board Vice President, Curt Miller, to President/Chair of the Jazz Outreach Initiative Board of Directors. Following that vote, current Board Member, Dr. Linda Woodson, MD, accepted her nomination and was unanimously elevated to her new position as Vice President/Vice Chair of the Jazz Outreach Initiative Board of Directors.


Curt Miller has been a premier first-call musician for decades, performing with everyone from Elvis to Sinatra and Tony Bennett, from Don Rickles to Lady Gaga and countless others. He’s also the founder of the UNLV music department’s recording studio which he ran and taught for many years. Curt is an outstanding sound engineer who helped transform JOI’s programs to virtual throughout the pandemic. And he’s founded and run successful businesses such as IT services company, Anexion.


Upon accepting his new role as Board President, Kenny Rampton said of Curt Miller, “JOI needs someone more qualified than me, with an expertise in business and development, as well as a deep passion for music and jazz education, to grow to the next level. The person who has accepted and been voted on unanimously by the JOI Board of Directors is the incomparable Curt Miller, who has been JOI’s Vice President for the past 3 years. Curt has been an incredibly successful businessman for many years, building businesses up from the ground floor to multimillion dollar successes. In addition, he has been a first call trombonist in Las Vegas for decades. I honestly can’t think of another person I’d trust more to take the reins of Jazz Outreach Initiative!!! Congratulations Curt! I’m very happy to follow your leadership.” Curt Miller stated upon his election, “It has been an honor to serve the past three years as Vice-President of this amazing organization, and in my new position as elected President, I am committed to offer all of my skills and support to this extraordinary group of people to help take Jazz Outreach Initiative to the next level.” For more about Curt Miller and a short video message, please visit the JOI Board page at www.jazzoutreachinitiative.org.


Dr. Linda Woodson is a board-certified dermatologist and has been a resident of Las Vegas serving her patients since 1994. She is a Los Angeles native who attended the University of Southern California Medical School. She holds an Electrical Engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Woodson is an accomplished vocalist performing jazz throughout the Las Vegas valley and can regularly be seen at Maxim Jazz, The Gambit, Tuscany, and other venues. She has also performed with the JOI Jazz Orchestra. She joined the Board of Directors in August 2022 and quickly showed her effectiveness as a fundraiser, advocate, and builder. Dr. Woodson has assisted with the JOI Jazz Alliance volunteer group and provided JOI’s Board with reasoned and sound advice. Executive Director, Donny Thompson said of Dr. Woodson’s election to Board Vice President, “In her short tenure with the Board, Dr. Woodson has not only assimilated into our culture, but has effectively led us with her wisdom, business acumen, thought leadership, and passion for this uniquely American art form. Her eagerness to do more with the organization, and deep connections to the community well-position her for her and our success.” After accepting her position as Jazz Outreach Initiative’s Vice President, Board of Directors, Dr. Woodson said, “Becoming the V.P. of JOI heightens my own joy and gratefulness for being able to be a more active part of its mission to connect the language of music to the language of life. I hope to bring my own passion and love for jazz in this new role to enhance this wonderful organization around our community and the country.” You can learn more about Dr. Linda Woodson and watch her video on the JOI website, www.jazzoutreachinitiative.org.


JOI Founder Kenny Rampton, President/Chair of the JOI Board of Directors, understands the transitional importance of board governance and exhibits his foundational growth mindset for the organization. Closely participating in the nomination process and the selection of such talented people to help grow the Board and JOI allows the local expert Board leadership to partner with the Executive, Development, Programming and Education, Finance, and Operational teams and further enhance the strength and stability of the organization.


Kenny Rampton and Gary Cordell (Co-founder, Emeritus Board V.P., and current Vice President of Education and Programming) launched JOI in spring 2017 through their passion to give back to the community which had provided each with such great music education and opportunities for their careers in music. As a member of The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Kenny has a unique global perspective as an educator, composer, arranger, and one of the world’s preeminent jazz trumpet masters. And the enthusiastic support and guidance of his mentor, Wynton Marsalis, has been so meaningful to the development of Jazz Outreach Initiative. Importantly, Kenny will continue in his critical role as Artistic Director where he will oversee the artistic integrity of JOI’s salient role in protecting and growing the cultural legacy of jazz well into the future. He will also retain a permanent seat on the Jazz Outreach Initiative Board of Directors as a voting Member/Director.


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