The Board supporting the Jazzistry nonprofit is a WORKING Board, directly involved in the operations and delivery of Jazzistry’s mission. Our board members provide extensive in-kind and volunteer roles for the organization–beyond typical boards–because of their profound belief in the power of Jazzistry to bring people together in more harmonious world.
IF YOU HAVE A SIMILAR PASSION consider joining us or volunteering!
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Vincent York – Founder and Artistic Director 
Vincent York is uniquely qualified to direct Jazzistry’s programs. His introduction to the music of Charlie Parker in the ninth grade ignited his exploration and love for jazz. He attended Southern University at Baton Rouge as a music education major and switched to become the first jazz studies major under clarinetist Alvin Batiste. After graduate study in classical saxophone at the University of Michigan under Donald Sinta, York toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington. He formed The Force in 1977 which was later renamed Vincent York’s New York Force. York’s first recording was voted Best Jazz Album of the Year by MetroTimes.

York has performed and recorded with some of music and entertainment’s all-time greats including the Temptations, the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughn, Wayne Newton, Bob Hope, Patti Page, Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Louis Smith and Marcus Belgrave. He was also music director for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. York has performed across the United States, Europe and Japan, including appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and at presidential dinners.

York is also an active educator. During his training under Alvin Batiste he took part in the pilot Jazz Artist in Residence Program of the National Endowment for the Arts that evolved into the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts where Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick studied. From 1996 to 2000, he was a MCACA Artist-in-Residence at Community High School in Ann Arbor and guided many jazz combos. At Washtenaw Community College he directed a 21-member student jazz orchestra with musicians aged 17 to 70.

From 1998 to 2007 York was the lead alto saxophone for the Cleveland Jazz Heritage Orchestra, a professional 17-piece not-for-profit performance/education orchestra which is officially in residence in the Cleveland State University Black Studies Program. Additional information on Vincent’s musical career are detailed under Musicians.


Linda Yohn – joined board in 6/20

Music, radio and serving the community – these are Linda Yohn’s passions. 

Her radio connection goes back to her grandfather, a World War I telegraph operator who inspired Linda’s communications curiosity.  Her mother was a distinguished mezzo soprano, pianist and music teacher.  Her father was a brilliant cancer research scientist who believed in community volunteerism and action for others.  Linda lives out these values today.

Linda first “cracked a mic” on WOBN at Otterbein College reading news and hosting a progressive rock show.  In the mid 1970s she fell madly in love with jazz and developing an extensive career in Ohio and New York, both on-air and coordinating Jazz Festivals, hosting a jazz TV series and developing strong national alliances. In her role as account executive and publicist for Peter Levinson Communications in New York she represented jazz clients including the Count Basie Orchestra, The Modern Jazz Quartet, The Village Vanguard Jazz Club, Mel Tormé, George Shearing, Monty Alexander and Joanne Brackeen. 

In 1987, Linda returned to the Ann Arbor/Detroit music community and her new radio home at WEMU-FM, Eastern Michigan University’s public radio station (one of the only 24-hour Blues & Jazz stations in the US). She served as Music Director for 30 years.  She developed a deep relationship with The Detroit Jazz Festival which continues.  Linda is often recognized in Detroit for her support of local musicians. She served on the board of the Graystone Jazz Museum and actively volunteers with Southeast MI Jazz Educators, and Paradise Valley Jazz fundraisers.

Linda retired from WEMU in 2017, but not from a life in music. She is highly visible and active in the metro Detroit jazz scene and spins a weekly show on WRCJ-FM, “Sunday Swing Set.”  We are thrilled to have her join the Jazzistry Board.


Tasha Lebow – founding board member –joined board in 3/99
Tasha Lebow was a program manager at The University of Michigan’s Program for Educational Opportunity for over 20 years. PEO was the regional federally-funded Equity Assistance Center serving pK-12 schools throughout the Great Lakes States with consultation and technical assistance. Tasha provided professional development to schools on multicultural curriculum and instruction, prejudice and harassment prevention, school climate, parent involvement and educational equity issues. With Robin Wax she co-authored the award winning “Remember the Ladies” A Handbook of Women in American History. She also served on her local school board for 12 years. Tasha is a past president of the National Association for Multicultural Education.

Deborah Orlowski – joined board 6/11
Deborah Orlowski, Ph.D. is the Senior Learning Specialist in the department of Human Resource Development at UM. Her areas of expertise include: conflict resolution and improving communication and teamwork, especially when impacted by intercultural issues; leadership development; and personal styles identification. She is also the lead for special events. In the past she served as a faculty member in the off-campus program at Central Michigan University teaching “Diversity and Multiculturalism in the Workplace” and “Women and Politics.” Deborah is a graduate of Wayne State University’s Multicultural Experiences in Leadership Development (MELD) program and New Detroit’s Cultural Immersion program. Deborah holds a B.A. in sociology from UM; an M.P.A. from EMU and a Ph.D from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her dissertation examined how intercultural friendships develop and flourish. She is a member of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR) and the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME).

Malverne Winborne – joined board 7/11
Malverne Winborne is the director of the Charter Schools Office at Eastern Michigan University.  He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.  He then received a master’s degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in education and psychology from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Winborne has also been involved in a variety of civic and community activities over the years. He has volunteered with the Detroit, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti public school districts.  He is a founding member of the Ypsilanti, Michigan chapter of DADS Inc., a group of men who volunteered to act as mentors for students in that school district. Dr. Winborne has been very active with the United Negro College Fund heading up fund-raising drives. He has had a long relationship with the American Red Cross, serving as board chairman for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region. He currently serves as one of the commissioners with the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission.

Bill Barker – joined board 1/15
Bill Barker is a retired metallurgist who worked in the basic steel industry and steel processing for over 40 years. He is also an amateur musician. For over 50 years he has played in an electric blues band supporting, promoting and participating in open jam sessions in the Greater Detroit Area. Barker served as treasurer and secretary for the Board of Directors of the former Graystone Jazz Museum in Detroit for 8 years prior to its closing. He currently volunteers on the City of Flat Rock’s Michigan Main Street/Trail Towns program as Co-Chairman and a member of the Economic Revitalization Team working or revitalizing the downtown area and improving public access to the Huron River.

Linda Carter – joined board in 12/18

Carter–as she is known– was just 10 when she decided that she wanted to teach music. With several music education degrees from the University of Michigan, Carter was Forsythe Middle School’s orchestra teacher—and so youthful, a fellow teacher mistook her for a student and asked her to please get out of the teachers’ lounge. Carter has enjoyed 43 years of teaching Instrumental Music in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. She taught at 15 of the 21 elementary schools and all 5 of the AAPS middle schools. For 13 years, she enjoyed staying in shape as a co-teacher at Pioneer and Huron High Schools’ marching band camps. Linda spent 30 years as the Ann Arbor Education Association Teacher Union President and Vice-President negotiating teacher contracts. Carter brings her rich knowledge of music, education and many local school connections to the Jazzistry program.


A Sad Note:
The Passing of Jazzistry Board Member,
Walter Jenkins


We are saddened by the sudden death of Board member, Walter Jenkins, who passed away in Northville MI in July 2020. Walt Jenkins joined the Jazzistry board 2012.
Walt Jenkins was President and CEO of Architects in Communication, LLC handling site development in the telecommunication industry. Walt has worked on wireless infrastructure for nearly 30 years throughout the US and Canada. He had the opportunity to work on the expansions of the Detroit Medical Center, Harper Hospital and other major medical facilities in southeast Michigan. Walt grew up in Redford and has lived in the Novi/Northville area for more than 35 years. He received several awards from the City of Novi for his volunteer efforts, including recognition from the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his work on a statewide trail-way project. Walt and his wife Denise are huge supporters of music and the performing arts. Both have been great supporters of Jazzistry. We will miss Walt’s big smile, enthusiastic attitude and positive energy.