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Adisa Nickerson, President & Executive Director

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Adisa Nickerson has focused his career squarely on making sure that young people are given opportunities, as he was, to experience and perform great music. Adisa was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and as a boy would attend rehearsals of the Spirit of Atlanta Marching Band and concerts by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Clark College Jazz Orchestra. Adisa had his first experiences in the arts community in Atlanta, participating in local youth performing arts ensembles, mainly as a singer. Noticing his aptitude for music, his parents began him playing the trumpet at the age of 10, after being given one as a gift by a neighbor. He took to the instrument naturally and played in the band at Southwest Middle School (Jean Childs Young Middle School) and Benjamin E. Mays High School. Adisa later received a scholarship to study music at Clark Atlanta University where he performed with the Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of James Patterson. During that time he also studied under and performed with John Head, principal trumpeter for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Adisa toured Europe twice under the direction of Mr. Patterson, performing at The Montreux Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz Vienne, and Euro Disney. Under Mr. Patterson’s leadership he has shared the stage with and played behind such artists as James Moody, Lou Rawls, Jeffrey Osbourne, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Roberta Flack, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole, and Regina Carter. In addition, he has performed as an opening act for The Wynton Marsalis Septet, James Moody, Kirk Whalum, and many others. In Miami, Florida, and in Atlanta he taught trumpet to youth for several years privately and at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta, and performed as a member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church Instrumental Ensemble for over a decade.

Upon finishing college Adisa worked for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in retail sales and worked for the Southern Arts Federation assuming both programming and administrative responsibilities. For nearly two years he managed the office of the Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition and ran it’s Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta Program. In January of 2007 he assumed the position of Managing Director for the Atlanta Boy Choir. In 2009 Adisa founded along with Conductor David White, the Georgia Boy Choir, now in it’s 6th premiere boy choir in the southeast and one of the best in the world, Adisa brings to the table management, logistical, strategic, and problem-solving specifically in the area of music non-profits. His primary goals are to ensure smooth day-to-day operation while increasing funding and awareness, intended to further its objective of instilling an appreciation for artistic excellence and tradition and providing character and leadership-building experiences for Choir members. He frequently serves on local, regional, and national grants panels in the arts and has served on the advisory boards of three arts organizations in the metro Atlanta area.