Sunday December 17th was a big day for the students of the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra as they held their winter concert with a couple of them rushing straight over to Myron's at The Smith Center for a performance with Jonathan Karrant.
This semester, the band included not just the full big band under the direction of JOI co-founder and VP Education & Programming Gary Cordell, but also two combos built from the band, the LVYJO Jazz Messengers taught by JOI Mentor and member of JOI Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Rich and the LVYJO Jazz Crusaders taught by Grammy® nominated singer, pianist, and composer Rachel Eckroth. Eckroth also sang with
the band a lilting Patrick Williams arrangement of Ellington/Strayhorn's classic "Satin Doll."
The bands performed a full set list original and new arrangements by Eckroth and Rich, all professional level charts. JOI Jazz Orchestra trumpeter, Glenn Colby was featured in the final Charles Mingus classic, "Moanin."
After the concert, saxophonist Lauren Cantu and trombonist Matt Ellis went straight to Myron's at The Smith Center where long time JOI supporter, Advisory Board Member, and acclaimed vocalist Jonathan Karrant was performing his sold-out concert.
Lauren and Matt each were asked to say a few words about what JOI means to them which moved the audience. Then each performed a song with Jonathan and his band before the two joined forces with the great saxophonist, Charles McNeal.
The audience was wowed by the performance and expressed admiration that Jonathan was again so generous with his stage. Jonathan had Exec. Dir., Donny Thompson stand for recognition, spoke about JOI, and advised anyone interested to come talk to him after the show, which many did.
For years, Jonathan Karrant has hosted members of the band, had the entire orchestra on stage with him, and even helped present a Jazz Routes student with an instrument and a year of donor-sponsored private lessons.