Meet the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra – James C. Mair, Artistic Director
David Chael (lead alto), Bob Long (alto), Doug Talley (lead tenor), William Sanders (tenor), Kerry Strayer (baritone)
Jeff Hamer (lead), Earlie Braggs, Stephanie Bryan, Paul Roberts (bass)
Steve Molloy (split lead), Bob Harvey (split lead), Jay Sollenberger, David Aaberg
Charles Williams (piano), Rod Fleeman (guitar), James Albright (bass), Tim Cambron (drums)
About the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra:
Through concert performances and educational endeavors, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra strives to preserve the rich heritage of jazz, nurture its growth, and encourage the appreciation of America’s Classical Music as a viable art form.
Jazz is America’s classical music. Through the efforts of the KCJO, a non-profit organization, the citizens of Kansas City can experience this art form through concert performances by a dynamic collection of Kansas City’s finest jazz musicians. The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra presents a series of concerts each season that are both entertaining and artistically sound. Each concert features a guest instrumentalist, vocalist or theme to showcase the many facets of this diverse and evolving musical art.
The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is the cornerstone of the organization. However, youth programs and community outreach are also an integral part of the organization’s mission. Educational and youth programs include the KCJO/KCKCC Summer Jazz Camp, the Music Scholars Program, master classes, artists in residence, jazz mentoring and school visits.
The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra attempts to collaborate with other established jazz organizations in a spirit of unity and inclusion. It is important that the diversity and multiculturalism of jazz be emphasized and celebrated.
An advisory council, made up of members of the community, meets periodically. Members are sought whose views are congruent with the mission and purpose of the organization. Each member not only serves in an advisory capacity but will also be actively involved in promotion, fund procurement, audience development and overall planning and development.
The KCJO applies for and receives grant funds to be used to help underwrite public performances. Ongoing support from charitable foundations and corporate and private gifts is paramount to the success and livelihood of the organization.
Identifying potential funding sources will be the first priority of The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council. Revenues from ticket sales contribute only a portion of the operating budget of the organization. The cost of concert tickets is in line with other professional arts organizations yet remains affordable enough as to not exclude young people and students, a segment of the population we make particular efforts to reach. Jazz bands are an integral artistic component to virtually every high school music program. These students should have the opportunity to experience live performances of the classic repertoire they are learning in school.
The vision of The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is a community where Jazz warrants the same social prestige and garners the same cultural respect as European art music.