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JazzArts Charlotte Announces Leadership Change

JazzArts Charlotte is announcing the departure of Artistic Director Ocie Davis, who will leave the organization as full-time Artistic Director at the end of August 2022.

August 29, 2022  —  Charlotte, NC–  “As a Co-founder of JazzArts Charlotte, the past thirteen years have been extremely rewarding and fulfilling. I am so very proud of the work we have done and will continue to encourage the success of JazzArts Charlotte behind the scenes as a contributor and a fan of the organization.” Davis said.

Davis co-founded JazzArts Charlotte with his wife, Lonnie Davis, who remains President and CEO. In October of 2009, they established Jazz Arts Initiative (now JazzArts Charlotte) with the purpose of supporting “America’s classical music” in the city of Charlotte. Since its inception, the organization has been widely embraced by the Charlotte community and is now one of the top emerging arts organizations in the region. Most recently, JazzArts Charlotte won the Charlotte Center City’s 2022 Vision Award and Southern Cultural Treasures Grant from South Arts. Ocie has been a guiding force in the transition into Charlotte’s premier jazz experience.

From JazzArts Charlotte’s inception, Davis has provided artistic leadership that’s resulted in the development of THE JAZZ ROOM Concert series, numerous local, regional, and national recognitions, implementation of several community-based projects, and development of strong educational programs targeting Charlotte youth.

“When Lonnie and Ocie moved to Charlotte, there was not an established jazz community. Ocie’s artistic vision helped create the foundation for this city to become a jazz hub and grow this idea into a nearly million dollar non-profit that cements Charlotte’s place in the jazz scene. We are forever grateful for his energy, creativity, and vision; because of his dedication, thousands of students have been exposed to the jazz art form and even more have enjoyed the monthly JAZZ ROOM performances. We are so excited to see what he does next,” said JazzArts Charlotte Board of Directors Chair, Jerri Kallam.

“When we moved from New Orleans to Charlotte, there wasn’t a thriving jazz scene happening here,” Lonnie said. “Ocie’s creation of his all-star quintet, The Queen’s Collective, was the catalyst that sparked my vision for JazzArts Charlotte. I’m incredibly grateful for his support, guidance, passion, and artistic vision. I know Ocie will stay engaged with JazzArts, and I am grateful for the legacy he helped me create.”

JazzArts will conclude its 16th season with JAZZ ROOM performances featuring internationally renowned percussionist, Pedrito Martinez performing the Sound of Cuba (September 2 & 3). The next season of JAZZ ROOM begins October 14-15, with Middle Eastern Jazz from Grammy-winning flutist Itai Kriss and Telavana. JazzArts Youth Ensembles + Workshops begins September 25th; auditions are open starting September 17-18.


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