The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra
3131 Broadway, Suite 101
Kansas City MO 64111
Photo by Dan White
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 225-4949
Mission Statement

Through performances and education programs, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra preserves the rich heritage of jazz, nurtures its growth, and encourages its appreciation as an art form for all ages.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Dorene Shipley
Board Chair Mrs. Sally Bibb
Board Chair Company Affiliation Bibb Engineering
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2003
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $472,000
Projected Expenses $471,203
Mission Statement

Through performances and education programs, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra preserves the rich heritage of jazz, nurtures its growth, and encourages its appreciation as an art form for all ages.


Background Statement The KCJO was organized as a not-for-profit corporation in April 2003. Federal income tax exemption was granted to KCJO by the federal government in May 2003 as a 501 (c)(3) organization. Through the efforts of the KCJO, citizens of Kansas City can experience this art form through concert performances by a dynamic collection of Kansas City's finest musicians. The KCJO presents a series of concerts each season that are both entertaining and artistically sound. Each concert features a guest instrumentalist, vocalist or theme to showcase the many facets of this diverse and evolving musical art. Presenting a concert series is the primary function of the organization, however, youth programs and community outreach are also integral in developing the next generation of big band jazz supporters.  Educational and youth programs include a summer jazz camp, master classes, artists in residence, jazz mentoring, school visits and presentations. The Orchestra currently has three compact discs available for sale; "Take One", "Live on the Plaza" and "Rhapsody" produced in the Fall of 2015.
Impact Statement
In 2012/13, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra successfully transitioned to our new "home" in Helzberg Hall/Kauffman Center for the Arts.  (Prior concert seasons were held at Unity Church on the Plaza.)  At present, we are about to start our 14th performing arts season with our Swinging 2016/'17 Season - ART OF THE BIG BAND! Celebrating our fifth anniversary season at the magnificent Helzberg Hall/Kauffman Center for the Arts. The KCJO released its third cd "Rhapsody" in the Fall of 2015, which features a new jazz arrangement by KCJO's artistic director, Clint Ashlock, of Gershwin's iconic masterpiece, 'Rhapsody in Blue.' The KCJO is also featured at various community events and fundraisers throughout the year, which include: Encore performance of the "British Invasion" at Missouri Southern State University in August; "Bop In The Dotte" in November sponsored by the Kansas City Kansas Public Library; and KANU's annual Big Band Christmas Dance" in December at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS.
Needs Statement
  1. Corporate Sponsorships for concerts ($10,000) per performance - ($40,000 for subscription series)
  2. General operations - need to cover production costs at Kauffman Center.
  3. In order to keep our music "fresh" we need $10,000 for new big band arrangements.  Typically, arrangements cost $300 - $400. 
  4. Marketing (Advertising and Public Relations)to expand audience
  5. Board Development to obtain more diversity. During this past year we have added two new Board members with very diverse backgrounds who enjoy American big band jazz and understand its importance as an art form:  Mr. Zahid Nana (Pakistani) and Mr. Benny Lee (Taiwanese).   
Service Categories
Youth Development Programs
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
KS - Lawrence
MO - Liberty
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra has come a long way in thirteen performing arts seasons.  There have been several challenges, both personal and professional: Kerry Strayer, long-time KCJO orchestra member, arranger and conductor/artistic director died after a long battle with cancer on August 1st, 2013.  This was a very difficult period for us.  Clint Ashlock, assistant conductor, was named the new artistic director of The KCJO in 2013 taking over the leadership of the orchestra.  Although general operating expenses went up fairly dramatically with our move to Helzberg Hall at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, they were off-set by our first Gala fundraiser chaired by Adele and Don Hall.  Even though our 2015/16 season was the most successful to date, we feel an annual fundraising event is essential to our continued financial vitality as a performing arts organization. (As described in our "Impact Statement"  we increased our community visibility by  performing more concerts hosted by other community organizations. We will continue to seek more community exposure beyond our regular performing arts season. 


The KCJO will swing some of the greatest songs ever heard on the Broadway stages from some of America's finest composers: Rodgers & Hammerstein's "SOME ENCHANTED EVENING," Kander & Ebb's "CABARET," Lerner & Loewe's "I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT!," Irving Berlin's classic show-stopper "THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS!", Bernstein & Sondheim's immortal "MARIA" from West Side Story, and many others!
Program Budget $30,235.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified, Adolescents Only (13-19 years),
Short-Term Success
This concert will be an opportunity for people of all ages to experience the great songs of Broadway with a Big Band twist!
Long-Term Success
This concert will be an opportunity to present two genres combined into one performance. The intent is to broaden the attendee's horizon with new arrangements of Broadway Classics.
Program Success Monitored By We will be able to monitor our program success/quality of the event through media reviews, and audience reaction/feedback.
Examples of Program Success
We are able to audit our program success by monitoring both season and single ticket sales. Beyond ticket sales, we will be looking at our individual donors, corporate sponsorships and foundation support.
Mr. Tchaikovsky's is going to swing!
Question: What happens when Artistic Director Clint Ashlock and The KCJO borrow a little Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, and add swinging new arrangements of your favorite selections from "The Nutcracker Suite?" Answer: You have a musical recipe for a fun, innovative, and highly entertaining concert of this timeless classic, that the whole family will enjoy. As Jackie Gleason would have said, "How suite it is!" 
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success
This concert will be an "entertaining" way of giving the audience a taste of Tchaikovesky's Nutcracker Suite juxtaposed with Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite.  
Long-Term Success
This is another great opportunity to educate our concert goers about two genres, Classical Music and Big Band Swing, highlighting both the similarities and differences.
Program Success Monitored By We will be able to monitor our program success/quality of the event through media reviews, audience reaction, survey/ feedback.  
Examples of Program Success
Again, we will update this information once tickets for our season go on sale & can determine other support throughout the community from individuals, businesses and private foundations. 
It's time to join The Kansas Jazz Orchestra for a spectacular big band celebration of some of the great songs of the 'horn-based' rock bands of all-time. You'll hear brand new arrangements of some of the greatest hits of iconic pop artists of the '60s, '70s, '80s who dominated the popular music charts: "CHICAGO," "BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS," "EARTH, WIND & FIRE" and many others. Even "AFTER THE LOVE IS GONE," there'll be horns-a-plenty and feet a-tappin' in Helzberg Hall! 
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success
We contact music teachers and band instructors to "get the word out."  In addition - thanks to the Tony DiPardo Music Foundation - every student is given free admittance.
Long-Term Success
Our third concert is a little more "out of the box", we invite 200 students from area middle / high schools (free of charge) in hopes of exposing them to new and innovative sounds. This concert will take "horn based" rock songs from the 60's - 80's and add a "swinging vibe".
Program Success Monitored By
Again - as feedback becomes available - we will look at ticket sales, media reviews, audience reaction and community underwriting for a success quotient.
Examples of Program Success
Our success expectations are that 200 students will attend the concert, and that the balance of Helzberg Hall is filled to capacity.
You'll know you've experienced the true ART OF THE BIG BAND when THE KANSAS CITY JAZZ ORCHESTRA plays a very special tribute to two of the greatest jazz artists of all-time: Trumpeter MILES DAVIS and Saxophonist JOHN COLTRANE. New arrangements of "SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME," "ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET," "MY FAVORITE THINGS," "A LOVE SUPREME," plus other 'Miles' and 'Trane' classics!
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success
Entertain our audience with a tribute to two great jazz musicians, with the KCJO flair.
Long-Term Success
In our mission to keep the art of "the big band" alive and well, each season we pay tribute to a great jazz musician/group. This season our tribute is to two great musicians, John Coltrane and  Miles Davis. Our "tribute" concerts have historically been very popular.
Program Success Monitored By
Again, we will update information here as soon as it becomes available:  Ticket sales, audience reaction, media reviews, and community support.
Examples of Program Success
Beyond ticket sales, we will be looking at our individual donors, corporate sponsorships and foundation support.
CEO Comments Jazz Greats like Count Basie and others have bestowed an important legacy on our town. The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s mission is to carry on that legacy to the next generation and beyond. We strive to be good stewards of the art form by presenting it at its highest level and with the utmost level of respect. Each piece of music is rehearsed paying particular attention to the style in which it was meant to be performed while still embracing the aspects of personal expression and interpretation that is indigenous to jazz. We present our concerts in environments that are designed for listening so the audience can appreciate the true artistry of each arrangement. Our goal has always been to make The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra one of the “jewels on the crown.” When thinking of the Kansas City performing arts mosaic we hope that one thinks of The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra right along with the Kansas City Symphony, Ballet and Opera. Your financial support is crucial - and greatly appreciated - to the financial vitality of The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.  As with other performing arts organizations, "ticket sales alone" provide about 35% of our annual $400,000 operations budget.  We rely on the generosity of corporations, private foundation, and individual donors.  Your donation - of any amount - makes a difference!  Thank you.  Dorene Shipley, executive director.  Help keep a swing in our step!
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Dorene Shipley
Term Start Aug 2016
Combining a lifetime interest in music with years of not-for-profit experience, Ms. Dorene Shipley brings in-depth knowledge of the Kansas City community to an organization that has had excellent growth since its founding in 2003 by President Gene Hall, and has experienced recent great success since moving the annual four concert series to Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in 2012.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Steve Irwin -
Mr. Jim Mair Apr 2003 - Dec 2010
Senior Staff
Title Artistic Director/Conductor
Title Office Manager
Paid Full-Time Staff 1
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Volunteers 12
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
We collaborate annually with The Kansas City Kansas Community College for the summer annual Jazz Camp, and for hosting guest artist master classes. Students mentored at these programs open select concerts by The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.  We also assist with the annual student jazz camp hosted by the jazz program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra has also collaborated with area arts organizations including Kansas City Youth Jazz and Johnson County Community College's Jazz Winterlude festival.
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments

Where else is it more fitting to have a professional concert big band than in Kansas City - the birthplace of the Count Basie Orchestra and the starting point of many other jazz legends like Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is an important part of Kansas City's cultural landscape and is keeping Kansas City Jazz Legacy alive.

Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Sally Bibb
Company Affiliation Bibb Engineering
Term Aug 2012 to Aug 2017
Board Members
Mr. Perry Beal
Ms. Sally Bibb
Mr. Richard Fagerberg
Mr. Jon Goodman
Mr. Gene Hall
Mr. Charley Jensen
Mr. Benny Lee
Mr. Zahid Nana
Mr. Rick Powell
Mr. James Prevost
Mr. John Thompson
Ms. Jennifer Trusty
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
CEO Comments

Where else but Kansas City should you find a professional jazz band carrying on the tradition of Count Basie? The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is still a developing organization. With the right Board in place the organization will secure its position in Kansas City's cultural landscape.

Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2017
Projected Revenue $472,000
Projected Expenses $471,203
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990. 
  • Foundation/Corporation revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.


Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$12,112$29,160$21,475
Individual Contributions----$0
Investment Income, Net of Losses$217$197$125
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$294,877$287,048$305,387
Administration Expense$30,635$27,919$22,184
Fundraising Expense$0$884$0
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.161.131.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses91%91%93%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$289,377$232,933$197,935
Current Assets$289,377$232,933$197,935
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$4,233$1,408$6,306
Total Net Assets$285,144$231,525$191,629
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities68.36165.4431.39
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Individual Donor $37,500
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Missouri Arts Council $21,475
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Individual Donor $20,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments
Fund-raising and in particular funding from foundations have been down over the past several years due in large part to the economic conditions. We have been fortunate to have had a reserve fund which we have tapped into to compensate for the loss of revenues. This year's fund raising event and a successful season helps us establish a larger reserve fund to enable us to continue our mission for many years.
Organization Name The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra
Address 3131 Broadway, Suite 101
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 225-4949
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Dorene Shipley
Board Chair Mrs. Sally Bibb
Board Chair Company Affiliation Bibb Engineering
Year of Incorporation 2003