FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday July 2, 2022
Carol Bryant, Vice President (206-459-3185, firstname.lastname@example.org)
SEATTLE REPERTORY JAZZ ORCHESTRA POSITIONS ITSELF FOR THE FUTURE
SRJO Searches for first Full-Time Executive Director, and makes Michael Brockman full-time Artistic Director
Seattle, WA – The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) Board of Directors voted on June 14 to add a full-time Executive Director. Co-Founder Dr. Michael Brockman will become the full-time Artistic Director for SRJO.
Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the Pacific Northwest’s only permanent and professional big-band orchestra, was founded in 1995 by Brockman (saxophone/arranger) and Clarence Acox (drummer). Since its founding, Brockman and Acox have been co-Artistic Directors of the non-profit organization. Brockman has additionally served as Executive Director, handling all the business and administrative functions.
After nearly three decades of splitting his time between the two roles, Brockman has decided that, beginning with the next concert season, he will focus exclusively on conceiving, developing, and implementing the artistic vision of the organization.
“For 27 years, Michael has done a phenomenal job in his combined roles as Executive and co-Artistic Director for SRJO. The organization has had a track record of annually being in the black, selling out its performances in Seattle, Kirkland and Edmonds, and bringing world-class guest soloists to perform with the band,” says Joe Renn, President of the SRJO Board. “We have built an award-winning ensemble, a highly revered music education program and broad reaching community outreach programs. Michael has carried two very big jobs simultaneously and he will now focus entirely on his true passion -- the music.”
“I am excited about this change,” says Brockman. “A dedicated and dynamic executive director will enable our entire organization to move to the next level of development. I look forward to concentrating on the music and to working even more closely with the great members of our band.”
Clarence Acox has retired from leading and performing in the orchestra and moves to the advisory position of Co-Founder and Emeritus Artistic Director. He leaves a legacy of excellence and commitment, which the SRJO Board has honored by naming its education program after him: the Clarence Acox Jazz Scholars Program. The educational program provides individual instruction to underserved students in several Seattle middle schools and high schools.
“Clarence will remain at the heart and soul of the band,” says Brockman.
“The search for an Executive Director will begin immediately,” says Renn. “We have a strong search committee, and we hope to fill the position by early this fall.”
Reporting to the Board as a co-leader in partnership with the Artistic Director, the new Executive Director will provide administrative and strategic direction that embraces SRJO’s long-standing commitment to the stewardship and promotion of the unique American art form of large ensemble jazz. The new administrative leader will direct the daily operations of SRJO while helping to ensure the financial sustainability and organizational health of this important Seattle institution. Brockman will also report directly to the Board.
As it makes the shift in structure, SRJO will continue to present exceptional concerts. In its most recent concerts (June 18-19), the band presented another set of first-class shows with special guest star saxophonist Tia Fuller, and plans are set for an exciting year of mainstage performances at Benaroya Hall in Seattle and at Kirkland Performance Center in the 2022-23 season.
No other changes in SRJO staff are anticipated, and Brockman will remain as Executive Director/Artistic Director pending the hiring of the new Executive Director.
To see a full job description and instructions to apply, click HERE.
SRJO's extensive and growing repertoire is drawn from the 100-year history of jazz, from turn-of-the-20th century ragtime to turn-of-the-21st century avant-garde. This includes works by America's most famous jazz composers, among them Fletcher Henderson, Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Thad Jones, and of course, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. In addition, SRJO's repertoire grows each year as the ensemble adds previously unpublished works to its library or commissions original works by leading jazz musicians.
In 1994 Acox was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame followed by Brockman in 2020. SRJO includes many of the region's best-loved jazz soloists and bandleaders: trumpeters Jay Thomas, Nathan Breedlove, and Michael Van Bebber; bassist Phil Sparks; saxophonists Alex Dugdale, Mark Taylor, Sidney Hauser, and Travis Ranney; trombonists Dan Marcus, Scott Brown, and Bill Anthony, drummer D'Vonne Lewis, guitarist Milo Petersen, and pianist Randy Halberstadt.
The ensemble is the recipient of numerous awards, including Golden Ear awards from Earshot Jazz for "Best Acoustic Jazz Group" and three times for "Concert of the Year," plus two "Starlight Awards" from the Kirkland Performance Center. Several members of the all-star group have been named to the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame, and many have won individual awards for "NW Best Instrumentalist," "NW Emerging Talent," "NW Best Recording" and more. ###