CHARLOTTE, N.C. – March 30, 2019 –
Since 2009, Jazz Arts Initiative has dedicated itself to improving and expanding the jazz music landscape in the Charlotte area. Now, as part of their year-long 10th anniversary celebration, the non-profit organization is rebranding as JazzArts Charlotte with plans for continued growth and expansion of its acclaimed signature jazz music and education programs.
International jazz legend Wynton Marsalis joined JazzArts Charlotte President and CEO Lonnie Davis on Saturday, March 30 for a rebranding kickoff event held for sponsors, volunteers and local dignitaries. Marsalis told the standing-room-only crowd, “I drove 20 hours overnight to make it. If I had to walk here, I would have, for Lonnie and Ocie. It’s about more than the music – it’s about people coming together. We want to take this feeling that we have in this room tonight, of everybody being together, and we want that that to affect the community. It is not as provocative as us attacking each other, but it’s much more meaningful and it takes us to a much higher ground. I am honored to be here.”
“It’s almost impossible to believe it’s been ten years,” said Davis. “It is only fitting that during this milestone year we adopt our new name and identity, JazzArts Charlotte. These three simple words perfectly tell our story and sole purpose: the promotion, education and preservation of America’s one true original art form – jazz – in the greater Charlotte region.”
Displaced from their native, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Davis and her husband, JazzArts Charlotte Artistic Director Ocie Davis, settled in Charlotte and immediately set out to raise the city’s jazz music profile. With signature performance and education programs like the acclaimed JAZZ ROOM @ The Stage Door Theater, Jazz Youth Ensembles and Workshops, JazzArts Music Camp, Jazz Youth Orchestra among others, the organization quickly became a favorite of the Charlotte arts scene.
Since their inception, JazzArts Charlotte has offered nearly 200 jazz performances, creating a presence and opportunity for many exceptional local and regional musicians as well as attracting national and international talent to the community. In addition, over 30,000 students have been reached through 250 hours of annual instruction each year. Many of these students have gone on to attend some of the top music colleges and embark on successful musical careers.
“We are Charlotte’s home for everyone who loves jazz,” said Davis. “We welcome musicians, educators, students, art patrons and fans of all ages to come get involved and be a part JazzArts Charlotte.” For more information, visit thejazzarts.org or call 704-334-3600.
About JazzArts Charlotte
JazzArts Charlotte (formerly Jazz Arts Initiative), is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the promotion, education, preservation of jazz and related art forms in the greater Charlotte region. Started in 2009, the organization is comprised of arts patrons, educators, performing jazz artists, business leaders, and volunteers. Their mission focuses on three program development areas: Jazz Education, Performance, and Musician Support. These three elements were established to help nurture a future audience and preserve the tradition of this great American Art Form, Jazz. For more information, visit www.thejazzarts.org, and follow JazzArts Charlotte on Facebook and on Twitter.
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