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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

JOI Premiers "The JOI Jazz Orchestra" Professional Big Band in Las Vegas at Free Concert

November 10, 2021, Las Vegas, NV.

Jazz Outreach Initiative debuted its newest exciting program, a professional big band comprised of first-call musicians and JOI's mentors for the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra at a free "Thank You" concert for the Community Lutheran Church. The concert featured JOI Board Member and multi-GRAMMY® nominated vocalist Clint Holmes and JOI Co-Founder, President, and Artistic Director, Kenny Rampton (Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis).

Download the Concert Program to Accompany the Concert Video!

thank you concert program
Download DOCX • 627KB

Modeling Jazz Outreach Initiative after Jazz at Lincoln Center, a professional big band is essential to JOI's mission which states, JOI "raises 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." The JOI Jazz Orchestra will be working to plan and present high quality public performances for the public as a way to both add to a vibrant jazz culture and community in Southern Nevada, as well as to support its many educational and outreach programs, masterclasses and clinics, and more. The concert was attended by more than 200 jazz enthusiasts from across the city.


The Thank You Concert was a result of a generous offering by the pastoral leadership of Pastor Ben Bergren and his team and congregation at Community Lutheran Church, who have allowed JOI to host its Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra rehearsals, jazz language classes, JJO Rehearsals, and certain other essential functions from its former business offices across the street from the church. After a couple of months of tenancy, JOI, Pastor Ben, Nathan Tannenbaum, and several guests and JOI Jazz Alliance Volunteers attended a formal ribbon cutting to mark this important place in our organizational growth.

Immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were invited inside for refreshments and treated to a short performance by the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra and its Mentors. Co-Founder and Vice President of Education and Programs, Gary Cordell introduced the band, spoke about our vision and he and Kenny Rampton recognized the generous financial gift from Walt and Carol Blanton which allows JOI's tenancy to be rent-free for one year. Gee and Fred Katen were also recognized and thanked for a generous gift which paid for nearly all of the tuition for the LVYJO students for the 2021-22 school year as well as seed money providing free private music lessons for students of need in JOI's "Jazz Routes Program."


After the ribbon cutting and short reception and performance, guests walked the short distance across the street to the church where Pastor Ben talked about the ties between music and the faith community, introduced JOI Executive Director, Donny Thompson to talk about JOI's need for financial, volunteer, newsletter subscription, and other opportunities for the community to become a part of something big, by giving to something small.

Donny then introduced Gary Cordell who conducted the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra in two pieces featuring outstanding soloists in the band.

And finally, the new JOI Jazz Orchestra debuted for its first time live. The big band released a couple of recordings to our YouTube channel last fall and earlier this spring, but this was their first live performance.

A full recording of the entire concert is available here for those who missed it and would like to watch the LVYJO and the JJO featuring Clint Holmes and Kenny Rampton. Stay tuned for announcements coming soon regarding a holiday concert in December!

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