CJO Announces Retirement of Executive Director, Kenny Koblitz

The past few years have seen some remarkable successes with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra!  

Thanks to many devoted fans, our recent fundraising benefits have had record attendance and returns, which enabled us to greatly expand our Educational Outreach, and our musical imprint throughout the region via numerous performances outside of our Subscription Series Concerts. Additionally, the CJO has partnered with numerous other non-profits in our region to better Northeast Ohio in a variety of ways. 

A great deal of our recent success can be traced to the appointment of Kenny Koblitz as Executive Director in June of 2016. Prior to taking over the helm of the CJO, Kenny was a long time CJO Board member, and he and his wife Audrey have served many non-profit organizations physically and financially--such as The Wounded Warrior Project, Tri-C, Chautauqua Institute, Montefiore and University Hospitals. Kenny retired from this position on March 31st, and the CJO is most grateful for Kenny’s vision and energy that oversaw this very productive span for the CJO.

Kenny will remain in the CJO family as Executive Director Emeritus so you will be certain to see him and Audrey like always in the lobby cheerfully greeting our crowds and being our biggest fans. We will be honoring Kenny and Audrey at the CJO’s Annual Benefit at Hawken School on September 28th. 

Stepping into Kenny’s role will be Dr. Scott Garlock. In addition to being a 20 year member of the CJO (currently on lead trombone), Scott has served the CJO in a variety of capacities in recent years-first as our Booking Agent, then Marketing and Social media was added to his load. For the last two years, Scott has been the CJO’s Managing Director, which saw him successfully add grant writing, fund raising and concert production to his prior roles. As a jazz music faculty member at Ashland University, Scott has a great deal of experience in jazz education, fund raising, concert production and all that comes with guest artists.

"The longest and most significant musical experience I have enjoyed in my career has been with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. Over 20yrs, I've played all the chairs in the trombone section and have enjoyed the playing and writing of great peers and fabulous guest artists. The past 3-4yrs I've had the opportunity to serve the CJO in ways beyond being a member. I started by booking the band, then added social media/marketing to my load. And for the last year and a half, I've been CJO's Managing Director. 

With the retirement of Kenny Koblitz, I took over the reigns as Executive Director of the CJO on Monday, April 1st, and I'm really excited about all we have been and all that we can become. It has been really gratifying for me to learn and implement different things beyond my work as a prof at Ashland University, and this opportunity will allow me (and the organization) to grow yet more. As I undertake this new role with the CJO, I look forward to following the path that Kenny set forth and I also to implement new ways to make the CJO even better. I want and need your feedback and ideas to do the best that I can in this new role. Please feel free to send me your thoughts at: booking@clevelandjazz.org.

The CJO owes Kenny a great deal in so many significant ways-we are in such a better place than when Kenny took over the reins several years ago. Kenny and his wife Audrey brought the CJO new and engaged Board Members, new fans, lots of energy, and brought an even higher level of professionalism to workings of the CJO. On a personal level, I will forever be grateful to Kenny for his guidance, friendship and trust in me and my work thus far with the CJO.I hope you can join us for an upcoming show."
- Dr. Scott Garlock