I’m so excited about the launch of our new newsletter, JOIful Notes! As I sit here thinking about what to write for our very 1st edition, I think it best to start by sharing why this organization came to be, what we’ve been able to accomplish so far (with an INCREDIBLE all volunteer staff) and what we’d like to grow into.
Jazz Outreach Initiative was born in 2017 to support bringing an Essentially Ellington Regional Festival from Jazz at Lincoln Center to Las Vegas (in partnership with UNLV). The 2nd Annual EE Regional was THE LARGEST in the country and deemed to be amongst the very best that Jazz at Lincoln Center has ever seen - and we’re now in the planning stages for our 3rd Annual EE in Las Vegas, which we plan on being even bigger and better. JOI also created a Jazz Studies Program in 2017 (which includes a Summer Jazz Intensive) for Nevada School of the Arts. In the past year, we have brought to Las Vegas two different outreach programs: “Jazz for Young People” and “Buzzin’ in Brass” as well as helped to bring several Masterclasses by some of the worlds leading musicians - all FREE to the students in the Las Vegas Valley. We have been able to reach over 2,000 students in the first half of 2019 alone through the programs brought to Las Vegas by JOI.
Our mission statement is:
“Jazz Outreach Initiative 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.
Let’s Make a Difference!”
I am so proud of all that JOI has already done, but this is just the beginning. As a full time member of Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, I have seen up close how the many programs at J@LC work and how effective they are in creating positive changes, not only in individual young musicians, but in music programs and in communities. Community is the key. None of the aforementioned programs would have been possible without the help and support of like-minded organizations and people. So far, JOI has partnered and worked with UNLV, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Smith Center, Opportunity Village, Nevada School of the Arts, The American Federation of Musicians, Musicians Union Local 369 and The Music Performers Trust Fund. We look forward to strengthening all of these relationships and to creating more new relationships that will expand our reach and help raise awareness and the consciousness of all involved. Through music education, we teach empathy, problem-solving, democracy, diplomacy, creativity, and awareness - simply put, we teach LIFE through MUSIC.
Our motto, “Let’s Make a Difference” has already been achieved but is far from being fully realized. We want to make MORE of a difference! There are many more programs and concert series that JOI would like to bring to the community of Las Vegas, but we will need help. With your help and support, the sky’s the limit! Here are some of Jazz Outreach Initiative’s goals in the future.
-Band Director’s Academy with the worlds TOP jazz educators working with local band directors.
-Youth Jazz Orchestra made up of the top young jazz musicians in the Las Vegas Valley.
-Professional Jazz Orchestra with a season on par with any top symphony orchestra in the country.
-Summer jazz camp in Mount Charleston teaching all levels of students for 2 weeks per age group.
These are all real possibilities with the right support. Many people have already donated their time, talent and money to JOI, without which nothing would have been possible. Please consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps. Thank you so much for all that you’ve already done. The future is brighter than ever! Together, we are literally changing the world.
Trumpet with The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Trumpet with The Sesame Street Band
President/Artistic Director of Jazz Outreach Initiative www.jazzoutreachinitiative.org