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Bio

Yvonne-Ervin-HeadshotYvonne C. Ervin, CFRE, worked in development for a dozen years in New York City, where she held the top development positions at the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, Bailey House, Hazelden New York and Urban Assembly; and she was Executive Director of the Candies Foundation.  After returning to Tucson in 2011, she was the Director of Development for the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry for two years.  Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Tucson Jazz Festival, which is scheduled for Jan. 16-28, 2015.  She has raised more than $10 million dollars during her fundraising career.

Before moving to New York in 1998, she was the executive director of the Tucson Jazz Society for nine years, building it from 500 members and a $50,000 budget to become the largest jazz society in the country with 2,100 members, a budget of $250,000 and 42 concert productions a year. She volunteered for the TJS for eight years before becoming the organization’s first paid employee and, during that time, organized “Primavera,” the world’s longest-running women’s jazz festival. For five years, she was marketing director for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra following a year in the same position with the statewide Arizona Dance Theatre.

For four year, she was the Secretary of the Executive Board of the International Association of Jazz Educators, representing the jazz industry on the board. In her mid-20s, she was the Vice President of the American Federation of Jazz Societies. She currently serves as treasurer of the board of the Santa Cruz Alliance for the Arts which presents the Mingus Hometown Music Festival, a bi-national jazz festival she founded more than 20 years ago.  Since 1989 she has been the Executive Director of the Western Jazz Presenters Network, a coalition of 45 jazz festivals and venues in the West.

Ervin has held seminars on fundraising, audience development and marketing for many statewide and national conventions and was a marketing and artist career development consultant for the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the National Jazz Service Organization. The Mid-Atlantic Arts Alliance and The Kennedy Center hired her to write the curriculum to train new jazz presenters for a National Endowment for the Arts-funded three-year program. Trained in group facilitation methods and skilled in organizational development and planning, she facilitated the meeting where the Arizona Presenters Alliance was formed.

For the past 30 years she has worked as a jazz journalist for print and radio and has interviewed more than 150 jazz legends for KUAZ-FM, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Citizen, Tucson Magazine, Showtimes West, Down Beat, and Music Hound’s Guide to Jazz. Thirty of those interviews are archived at the Library of Congress. She is editor of Hot House magazine and was the jazz columnist for the Tucson Weekly for several years and has written liner notes for RCA, Capri and Doubletime records.

Ervin holds a degree in music and journalism and was a visiting lecturer in Jazz History at her alma matter, the University of Arizona. She has interviewed jazz greats on stage at the Monterey and Telluride jazz festivals and has emceed at the Montreux, Tanglewood and Telluride jazz festivals. For 20 years, she hosted jazz radio programs, first at Illinois