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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

JOI Elevates Gary Cordell to V.P., Education and Programs

To say that Gary Cordell is important to this organization is a grand understatement. Jazz Outreach Initiative exists because of Gary Cordell. As co-founder of Jazz Outreach Initiative, it has been Gary’s vision and dedication which spawned our early days, launching with Kenny Rampton the Jazz at Nevada School of the Arts program as a first major foray into creating a jazz education culture for Southern Nevada. Since moving on from that program to focus more on JOI’s three primary pillars of Education, Outreach, and Performances, Gary has proven time and again his value not only to JOI and its mission, but to the entire community which has benefited from his work and passion. While co-founder, President, and Artistic Director, Kenny Rampton has worked closely with Gary to create and inspire our programming, it has been Gary’s “boots on the ground” making those programs happen with exceptional quality in everything he’s produced.

It is our distinct privilege, and as Executive Director, my personal honor, to announce our Board of Directors has unanimously approved to elevate Gary into a newly created full time salaried position as Vice President of Education and Programs. This position will afford JOI the ability to dedicate full time resources towards realizing its mission, “raising public awareness of jazz. Through concerts, classes, and community building, we bring a world of creativity and a higher consciousness to the students, performers and the audience.”

Over the next several weeks and months, expect to see Jazz Outreach Initiative expand its community awareness and involvement, deeply penetrate into our local schools with an emphasis on Title 1 “at risk” populations, support efforts and common interests of like-minded nonprofit organizations, and “Make A Difference” in the lives of youth throughout our community. Congratulations Gary Cordell!

Please come out on Wednesday November 10th at 7:30pm to Community Lutheran Church (3720 E Tropicana Ave near Sandhill) to attend a FREE CONCERT of the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra opening for a premier performance of the new professional big band, the JOI Jazz Orchestra featuring Clint Holmes and Kenny Rampton. A Ribbon Cutting ceremony will be held across the street from the church at 6:30pm to celebrate JOI’s new rehearsal space made possible through the generosity of the pastoral leadership of the Community Lutheran Church and a donation from Walt and Carol Blanton.


Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

Executive Director

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