Lafayette Area Musicians (and a lawyer or two)...

...would any of you be interested in joining or playing in a community jazz orchestra?

Since I moved to Lafayette I have started playing in the Lafayette Concert Band and having a grand time doing so. Selections are typically above what the average concert band attempts and has a regular concert schedule and solid organization.

But there is a small group of musicians, including myself, who would also like to attack some jazz standards, stage band charts, etc. so we have started the discussion on getting the jazz orchestra rolling.

I am checking into some of the more formal aspects (LLC, 501(c)(3), grants, and other stuff) which also leads me to a legal question for the lawyers in the house. What does it take to attain non-profit status so that the organization can write grants for what should be minimal funding for certain things that a group like this would need to buy, like certain instruments, music, small sound system and some other items.

This would be a non-audition group but it would have limited slots with some elasticity -

4 - 6 each trumpets, trombones, saxes
2 - 4 drummers / percussionists
1 - 3 keyboardists / pianists
2 - 4 guitarists, including electric and stand up bass

Thoughts? Interest? I am just trying to gather as much information as possible so that when we have the first informal meeting we can discuss everything and make sure its all out on the table.

I think you've got some terminology mix ups, but it seems like you're asking how to form this sort of community music group in non-profit status so that the performers (and perhaps others) can make charitable (tax free) contributions to it - that can then be used to acquire instruments? I don't really get the grant angle.

But non-profit organization and management can be a specialized area (business organization/tax law). If you want real advice, seek it from a specialist in this area. You can do some basic research though - you're likely looking at a 501(c)(3).
Exemption requirements: 501(c)(3) organizations