Jazz Outreach Initiative

"Let's Make A Difference!"

aka JOI   |   LAS VEGAS, NV   |  www.jazzoutreachinitiative.org


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!”

Ruling year info


Executive Director / Corp Secretary

Mr Donny Thompson

Vice President

Mr Gary Cordell

Main address

6955 N DURANGO DR UNIT 1115 # 220


Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Music (A68)

Performing Arts (A60)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

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

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

School budget cuts have impacted music in schools, particularly among Title 1 schools considered, "at risk." Jazz Outreach Initiative seeks to close gaps in jazz education experience for teachers, students, and create a culture of jazz within the community. "JOI" partners with local organizations to produce programs, concerts, clinics, festivals, and educational outreach efforts.

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?

Essentially Ellington Regional High School Jazz Band Festival

The largest of Essentially Ellington festivals, the Las Vegas event feeds directly into the Essentially Ellington national festival in NYC hosted by Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, directed by Wynton Marsalis.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Co-Sponsored by JOI, world renowned jazz trombonist and educator, Michael Dease, will be giving a free Master Class to Clark County School District music students on April 22nd at 5:30 PM in the Green Valley High School Auditorium.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

We look for suitable venues for students to play for the public across the southern Nevada market.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


Special Congressional Recognition 2020

United States House of Representatives

Affiliations & memberships

Jazz at Lincoln Center 2017

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 classes offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status, Age groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

JOI has greatly expanded its learning opportunities to include students both inside and outside of our organization at all ages and abilities. In 2020 we also hosted "Band Director Academy."

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

JOI was founded to fill a need in the community for greater exposure to jazz studies and awareness, focusing on students of all ages. Through festivals, clinics, “Band Directors Academy,” "Jazz for Young People Concerts", and other outreach programs, JOI celebrates the great American art form by promoting it through the next generation of performers, audiences, and consumers.

Jazz Outreach Initiative, "JOI," partners with organizations such as The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, School of Music at University of Nevada Las Vegas, Clark County School District, and Jazz At Lincoln Center to carry out its mission ensuring jazz education, outreach, and awareness are inclusive and accessible for a diverse community.

Starting with founding President and Artistic Director, Kenny Rampton (Member of Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis), we are able to bring world class artists and create collaborative efforts in fulfillment of our mission. JOI is an affiliate of Jazz At Lincoln Center and we work closely with JALC as members of our advisory board to utilize their highly regarded educational programs locally in southern Nevada.

Co-founder and Program Director, Gary Cordell, has performed and taught in Las Vegas for more than 3 decades and as VP of the local Musicians Union, provides a unique ability to draw in supporters such as the Music Performance Trust Fund, the American Federation of Musicians, and local musicians and educators to produce our highly regarded programming.

Donny Thompson, Executive Director has been a musician and has been a leader in business and banking for more than three decades. He brings a wealth of knowledge through those experiences along with a Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration to ensure JOI's success.

We also include Federal District Court Judge Richard Boulware who is a strong advocate for disadvantaged youth and schools. Richard serves as our Outreach Committee Chair. Dr. Nancy Brune has worked tirelessly for education and outreach causes including serving on White House committees and currently as Executive Director of the Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities. She is a professor for the Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

And to keep our finances in order, Treasurer Daniel Philippus, CPA, has decades of experience working with nonprofits and for profits as a CPA and auditor.

Secretary Juliana McRae is a retired music teacher and has founded and led charitable nonprofit volunteer support organizations within the music and arts communities for many years.

Board Member Clint Holmes is a legendary singer, songwriter, recording and stage artist, and has years of philanthropic experience plus an in depth knowledge of the inner workings of the music business.

Board V.P. Curt Miller has decades of business leadership and ownership experience in addition to being a decades long musician and recording and stage artist. Curt is also an exceptional professional sound and recording engineer.

We have grown from a small dream-filled nonprofit to a regional powerhouse in just a few years. Partnering with local nonprofits, schools, businesses, and community members of influence, we're reaching more students than any other program in southern Nevada. Each semester, we reach more than 2,000 students and touch the lives of students and adults of all ages.

We have hosted clinics and master classes with artists including Arturo Sandoval, Miles Davis, Michael Dease, Charley Davis. Wynton Marsalis, Sherman Irby, Scotty Barnart, Julius Tolentino, Marcus Printup, Victoria Swift, Camille Thurman, Alexa Tarantino, Sherrie Maricle, and so many more. We also teach band directors how to better teach jazz through a collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Band Director Academy." We produce a newsletter with questions from our followers to artists like Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, and others. We host Buzzin' In Brass and Jazz For Young People concerts for at risk Title 1 schools. We host with UNLV and Jazz at Lincoln Center, the largest Essentially Ellington Regional High School Band Festival in the nation. We created and lead the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra and are launching "Jazz Routes," a program which will provide free music instruments to impoverished youth along with a year of free music lessons.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Students aged kindergarten through college primarily within Clark County School District and University of Nevada Las Vegas. Primary served include Title 1 schools, disadvantaged and system impacted youth.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We were developing an instrument donation and disbursement program for disadvantaged youth and it was suggested to also obtain donation monies to provide free music lessons for one year to accompany each instrument.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Many of the similar programs from other organizations have not been affective due to lack of listening and acting on the expressed needs of the served population. At JOI, hearing and acting upon the needs of those we serve is a leading reason for our growth and success in delivering exceptional services.

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

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, 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?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,


Jazz Outreach Initiative

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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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

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Jazz Outreach Initiative

Board of directors
as of 06/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Kenny Rampton

Member, Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Term: 2017 -

Donny Thompson

U.S. Bank Payment Services | Elavon

Curt Miller

Anexion, Retired

Juliana McRae


Kenny Rampton

Jazz @ Lincoln Center

Gary Cordell

Boulevard Entertainment

Daniel Philippus


Clint Holmes

Recording Artist, Musician

Richard Boulware

Federal District Court Judge

Nancy Brune

Exec. Dir. Guinn Center for POlicy Researd, Adjunct Prof., UNLV

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 ? Yes
  • 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 6/26/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/26/2021

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

  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.