PLATINUM2024

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Celebrating the past, embracing the future

Kansas City, MO   |  www.kcjo.org

Mission

Through performances and education programs, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra preserves the rich heritage of jazz, nurtures its growth, and encourages its appreciation as an art form for all ages.

Notes from the nonprofit

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is preparing to undergo another strategic planning process, rebranding, and expansion of the season and education programs in the 2024 fiscal year.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Alyssa Bell Jackson

Artistic Director

Clint Ashlock

Main address

31 W 31st St.

Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

32-0070205

NTEE code info

Music (A68)

Youth Development Programs (B50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In America, the arts are primarily run as non-profits and taught in schools and are constantly at risk of being cut or defunded through the ebb and flow of economy and politics. This custom hinders creativity and the progression and preservation of the art form and as a vital professional industry. The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra aims to preserve historic forms of jazz composition, performing and teaching the skills to play compositions with an 18-member orchestra and creating and performing new compositions that allow for the jazz genre to evolve. KCJO also aims to create new performance opportunities for students and musicians and for audiences to learn and enjoy. Many studies have guided arts education programs to begin introducing different art experiences to school-aged children. Even if they do not go on to become musicians, they are life-long jazz music lovers. Artistically, the KCJO strives toward a Grammy nomination and gaining a national and international renown.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Signature Series

Each year, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra hosts a Signature Series of classic and original big band jazz music at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and at the Folly Theater. Performing familiar favorites and artful arrangements, this 18-piece band showcases not only the individual and collective talent of the musicians as performers, but also their fresh and innovative take on the biggest hits in American popular music. The 23-24 season is sure to delight audiences with an array of programs that highlight different types of jazz featuring jazz legends such as the Marvelous Marilyn Maye, Bobby Watson, Lisa Henry, Deborah Brown and the multi-grammy award winning pianist John Beasley.

Population(s) Served

KCJO Jazz Works! is the home of the educational initiatives of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra. This program serves as a platform for our organization's efforts to educate and inspire members of our community to appreciate and celebrate our incredible art form. From students of jazz to music lovers and lifelong learners, we hope to offer events that allow people of all ages and experience a greater insight into the traditions and practices of the genre, encouraging a deeper understanding, and therefore a more profound enjoyment of this incredible music. Programs include the newly piloted Groove 'n' Learn youth performances at the Folly, Jazz Cafe performances that take place at area schools during lunches, Listening Parties for a more in-depth education experience about jazz, and masterclasses and clinics with KCJO band members and legendary guest artists.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

The development of jazz music’s early foundation was greatly defined by Kansas City’s stylistic contributions to the genre. Popular songs like “In The Mood” and “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” were largely
written in the riff-based style that emerged from Kansas City, and the city’s “jam session” cultivation of
the music still lives in clubs and basements around the world.
Through KCJO’s platform, we wish to shine a brighter light on this essential component of jazz, and
Kansas City’s fundamental place in music history. These stand-alone performances are a series of new,
collaborative compositions in a modern examination of the Kansas City “riff style.” Musicians will
audition for a one-year residency and perform these works over the course of the year. This series allows KCJO to engage more local musicians and develop new audience members.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of audience members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Signature Series

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of professional artists employed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Through performances and education programs, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra preserves the rich heritage of jazz, nurtures its growth, and encourages its appreciation as an art form for all ages. With our Signature Series concerts, we hope to engage a wide range of patrons from diverse backgrounds. Our education series JazzWorks! is focused on not only educating K-12 music students, but teaching our community at large about the importance of Kansas City Jazz to our local story as well as the international legacy of jazz.

We aim to bring highly artistic concepts to our programming while still remaining accessible to the vast majority of our community. This can be observed through our selection of guest artists for our Signature Series, new traditions like Charlie Brown Christmas, education programming such as In Our Jazz Era, and more. Almost every program we do has original music composed or arranged by our Artistic Director and band members.

JazzWorks! encompasses several educational series:
Groove'N Learn is an engaging and interactive way for students to learn about and develop a life-long love for jazz music. KCJO’s 18-piece big band performs a 45-minute suite of fun music to entertain and educate. Through performance and conversation, we present concepts like melody, harmony, rhythm, improvisation, and swing, and demonstrate essential skills like communication, listening, and imagination through great jazz tunes like “Sing Sing Sing,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”

Listening Parties and Jazz Cafes bring our musicians into the lunchroom and classrooms. A trio of musicians perform for the students, immersing the students in traditional jazz music while allowing them to be in their element. These programs are great for engaging students who rarely or have never had the chance to hear or learn about live jazz.

In My Jazz Era connects modern artists such as Taylor Swift to our beloved jazz giants like Charlie Parker. Our six piece band performs original arrangements and mashups of contemporary artist's songs in the style of Kansas City Jazz. This series is aimed at people of all ages, and strives to connect the dots between the generations of great jazz musicians to today's artists.

Many of our JazzWorks! programming is free to attend. Our Signature Series has a wide range of price points including student rush tickets at 50% off, and donations of tickets to local music programs.

Additionally, KCJO is continually developing our marketing strategies to blend with the current market and changing times. We adjust based on reporting from our PR Consultant and Media Planner.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Board of directors
as of 06/08/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Brian Johnston

Sponsorship Focus

Term: 2018 - 2025

Benny Lee

DuraComm Corporation

Zahid Nana

Retired from Hallmark

Jennifer Trusty

BMO Financial

Michael Fischer

Payne & Jones, Chtd.

Brian Johnston

Sponsorship Focus

Lee Brumitt

Dysart Taylor Cotter & Brumitt PC

Alyssa Bell

Soundwave Academy

Rebecca Dowell

PBI Gordon

Gary Hailes

KU Medical Center

Kendra Kemp-McGee

Community Leader

Kim Gile

Kansas City Public Library

Gus Jianas

Tinuiti

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/8/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/23/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.