Founder and Artistic Director

Stephen M. Lee
Stephen Lee is a Memphis native who has come full circle. His talent and love for music have carried him miles from home, only to return with the wholehearted desire to enrich and serve his home community. Read full bio.

Coordinator of Education

Michael Scott
Michael has been with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 1976. Recently, he retired as an Associate Professor at Southwest Community College where he designed the online and hybrid music appreciation courses that are still in use today by the college. When not working with the Memphis Jazz Workshop or performing with the symphony, Michael can be found playing most of the woodwind instruments in many different chamber ensembles, Jazz groups and many of the Broadway touring shows at the Orpheum Theater.

Operations Manager

Lea VanMerkestyn
Lea has professional experience in organizational management and day to day operations of large music programs and music non-profit organizations.  Lea is a 30 year music educator, musician, and the owner and director of Musical Memories, consulting  with memory care facilities and providing musical activities for individuals struggling with alzheimers and dementia.  She is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a BS in Music Education and did masters work at the University of Memphis in Orff-Schulwerk.


Board of Directors

Terence Branch, Chair
Terence is a retired business professional with experience in organizational management and day-to-day operations of companies. Currently, Terence works as a development consultant with projects across the nation and in distressed areas like Haiti and Puerto Rico. He holds a BA in Biology from the University of Tennessee  at Knoxville. He is also a professional pianist.

John Keith Perry, Esq., Vice Chair
Keith is Senior Partner at Perry Griffin Law Firm, specializing in family law, estate law, civil rights litigation, personal injury, and criminal defense. He is a member of the Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel, American Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar Association and has been appointed as Municipal Court Judge in Coldwater, MS.  He received a BA in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a Juries Doctor from the University of Mississippi.

Derrick Sanders, Treasurer
Derrick Sanders is Grant Planning and Budgeting Director in Federal Programs at Shelby County Schools. He is a graduate of Christian Brothers University and has served in various accounting positions for over 20 years.

Candace Walsh, MPA, CNP
Candace is an instructor in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration at the University of Memphis, and the campus executive director of the university’s Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) program.   She holds a bachelor of science degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  She has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of journalism, municipal government administration and nonprofit management, and serves on a number of local nonprofit boards.

Deidre Thomas
Deidre is the principal and Chief Information Strategist at Entvion. After over 25 years managing database services, data governance and business analytics for Fortune 500 companies, Thomas now focuses on helping companies monetize their information assets via database management, content and data source management, product strategy, information integration, analytics and visualization. Thomas is a graduate of the Fogelman College of Business at the University of Memphis, and the Executive Leadership Intensive program at the Leadership Academy.

Charles Elliott, MBA
Mr. Elliott has established a solid 25 plus year record of success in defining, implementing, and driving the adoption of innovative technology to deliver sustainable business value and growth. He is a results-driven professional with extensive experience selling technology solutions, leading people and project teams, implementing and overseeing full life cycle of technology programs, and administering multi-million dollar budgets. He graduated from Morehouse College with a B.S. in Applied Physics and a MBA from Clark Atlanta University.

Eric Clauson
Eric is the CEO and founder of Lexington Asset Management, a Memphis-based real estate investment and management company.   Eric was previously the head of the equity derivative and hedge fund sales groups at Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, and Salomon Brothers. Eric lived in Japan from 1988-2013 and is proficient in Japanese. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri with an MBA in 1987 and a BSBA in 1986. He is also currently a board member of Ballet Memphis and the Memphis Chamber Music Society.

Memphis Jazz Workshop
PO Box #11461
Memphis, TN 38111

(901) 860-5015

© 2018 LeeJazzOmega, Inc.
LeeJazzOmega, Inc. is a tax deductible 501(c)3 organization.

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photos by David Roseberry

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