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Atlanta Jazz Non-Profit, Orchestra Atlanta, Announces Name Change to Jazz Orchestra Atlanta

United States
Non-profit adds new board members and re-focuses on the growth and promotion of jazz in the Southeast

ATLANTA, Nov. 24, 2009 — Orchestra Atlanta, a 23-year-old, not-for-profit arts organization based in Atlanta, GA, today announces its official name change to “Jazz Orchestra Atlanta,” reinforcing the organization’s shift in commitment to the advancement of the best in jazz education and performance. The group continues to produce professional jazz performances by a resident repertory big band featuring high-caliber jazz musicians from Atlanta and the Southeast. Jazz Orchestra Atlanta also continues running its popular Summer Jazz Camps for metro Atlanta middle and high school students. The camp is held at Georgia State University, and in 2010 JOA will premier a Vocal Jazz Workshop featuring the internationally recognized vocal group The New York Voices, who will join JOA’s big band in a special closing concert at the Rialto Theater.

“The decision to change the name officially was an easy one,” says JOA Executive and Artistic Director, Dr. Brent Runnels. “Our focus really shifted over the past several years as audiences showed a great deal of enthusiasm for the jazz concerts we added to our programming. We recognized an important musical niche was not being filled in Atlanta, and our professional big band performances fill that nicely. We found we had already carved out a niche for advancing superior jazz education, so filing with the State to make the name change official was the logical next step to demonstrate our commitment to the new mission and vision for the organization. Our audience and everyone at JOA are very excited about it.”

Jazz Orchestra Atlanta Strengthens Board of Directors and Fundraising Efforts

In addition, the Jazz Orchestra Atlanta recently added several new contributing members to their diverse Board of Directors. “Our board is a blend of professional men and women who represent a wonderful cross section of large and small Atlanta businesses, and local professional musicians,” continued Runnels, “with common threads of enthusiasm for the art of jazz music, and the community stature we need to help us achieve our goals.”

Recent additions to the board include Mark Williamson, a partner at Alston and Bird; Phil Williamson, a CPA and tax director of Mirant Corporation; Steve Brown, avid musician, pilot and project management consultant; Robert Scarr of Delta Airlines; Jerry McEver, musician, teacher and School Music Recruiting Specialist and Consultant; Greg Coile, a well-known Atlanta musician and teacher; and Joe Gransden, one of Atlanta’s best known jazz musicians. “The addition of these members and their contributions further strengthen and diversify Jazz Orchestra Atlanta’s board and proves the community commitment and interest in the art form of jazz and its ongoing proliferation in Metro Atlanta,” said Mark Williamson, JOA Board Chair.

The JOA Board of Directors meets monthly to determine policy, programming, marketing, and resource development while encouraging awareness and interest in Jazz Orchestra Atlanta’s programs.

The result of Jazz Orchestra Atlanta’s work can be seen regularly at venues like Cafe 290 in Sandy Springs, where Joe Gransden and the JOA big band play shows twice monthly on the first and third Mondays, and in featured events at the Woodruff Arts Center and Spivey Hall, where Jazz Orchestra Atlanta will join with Joe Gransden to present a Big Band Christmas Show.

About Jazz Orchestra Atlanta

Jazz Orchestra Atlanta is a non-profit arts organization supported by generous public and private contributions. Jazz Orchestra Atlanta is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts organization registered in the State of Georgia. It was founded in 1986 as The Sandy Springs Chamber Orchestra and quickly established itself as a cultural treasure in the north metro Atlanta community. In the mid-1990s the name was changed to Orchestra Atlanta, and amended again in 2009 to Jazz Orchestra Atlanta, reflecting its new focus on the advancement of superior jazz education and performance. It continues to serve audiences, musicians and students throughout the metro Atlanta community.
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