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JOI Jazz Orchestra Presents Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite on Dec. 21

Holiday favorites to be performed by Clint Holmes and Kenny Rampton

Jazz Outreach Initiative’s JOI Jazz Orchestra will perform selections from Duke Ellington’s The Nutcracker Suite for the season. During the program, holiday favorite Christmas songs will be sung by multi-GRAMMY® Award-nominated headliner Clint Holmes with jazz trumpet master and JOI Co-founder and Artistic Director Kenny Rampton (Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis). Songs will include a selection from the recently donated original charts of the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s multi-platinum Christmas album series, In The Christmas Mood, along with other holiday favorites. The concert will be held at the Starbright Theatre on Dec. 21.

In keeping with the holiday spirit of giving, Jazz Outreach Initiative’s Executive Director,

Donny Thompson will also present a local economically disadvantaged student with a free

donated saxophone. The student will also receive a year of free private music lessons taught by one of the outstanding musicians in the JOI Jazz Orchestra. Liliana Hoopes is a Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) student, the only all-girls Title 1 Charter School in Southern Nevada and selected by GALS Exec. Dir., Krista Yarberry after an essay competition. Liliana will be JOI’s second student in their Jazz Routes program, an outreach effort that places donated instruments into the hands of youth along with a free year’s private lessons paid for by donor sponsors.

As part of the JOI Jazz Orchestra’s mission to celebrate the enormous talent of the local jazz community, Rampton has commissioned original arrangements. The JOI Jazz Orchestra and Clint Holmes will perform arrangements from nationally renowned local musicians and composers Nathan Tanouye and Jorge Machain, also members of the band. These arrangements include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” classic, “My Favorite Things” arranged by Tanouye, and Katherine Kennicott Davis’s classic Christmas carol, “The Little Drummer Boy,” arranged by Machain. An interesting connection between the two songs is that the Von Trapp Family characters performed the “Sound of Music” song while the actual Von Trapp Family Singers sang the first recording of “The Little Drummer Boy” in 1951.

The big band will also perform selections from the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s multi-platinum album, In the Christmas Mood, courtesy of the album’s producer and former member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Dale Thompson. Thompson donated the original album charts and will also attend the concert.

Jazz Outreach Initiative is a 501(c)(3) music educational nonprofit charity whose programs connect the language of music to the language of life for youth throughout our community. JOI operates on three primary pillars, jazz awareness, outreach programs, educational programs, and performances. JOI hosts the nation’s largest annual Regional Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Festival. JOI also founded and leads the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra, comprised of middle school and high school-aged students from across the valley. JOI also presents educational programs at CCSD elementary, middle, and high schools, emphasizing Title 1 “at-risk” populations. Recently JOI launched “Jazz Routes,” which provides youth with donated instruments and a year of free private lessons.

The JOI Jazz Orchestra was founded in late 2020 and is a professional big band made up of some of the finest musicians in the world. Many of these performers also serve as volunteer mentors with JOI’s Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra.

The concert will be performed at the Starbright Theatre, Sun City Summerlin, located at 2215 Thomas W. Ryan Blvd on Dec. 21. Showtime is 6 p.m. Tickets are available at or box offices: Pinnacle: (702) 240-1301, Desert Vista: (702) 363-1341, and Mountain Shadows: (702) 966-1410.

For more information on Jazz Outreach Initiative’s programs and Board of Directors, visit and follow on Facebook @joi4jazz, Instagram @jazzoutreachinitiative, and Twitter @JOI4Jazz.


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