History of Jazz4Justice
Jazz4Justice is the brainchild of Fairfax, Virginia, attorney Edward L. Weiner, conceived in 2000 while he attended a Jazz recital by the George Mason University (GMU) School of Music. He was very impressed by the music, but distressed by the small audience. As a Past President of the Fairfax Law Foundation, a charitable organization created by the Fairfax Bar Association to support public access to legal services, he saw an opportunity for these two organizations to work together on a mutually beneficial project that would also strengthen connections with the local community. Professor Jim Carroll, Founder of Jazz Studies at GMU, partnered with Ed, and the first Jazz4Justice concert was held at GMU in 2002.
Jazz4Justice is truly a unique event. From the beginning, attorneys, judges, students, and fellow members of the Northern Virginia community have gathered in a friendly environment where Jazz admirers could congregate and celebrate their love for the music. Over the years, Jazz4Justice has raised over $400,000 for Legal services and university jazz programs.
The program has received awards from both the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar for being an innovative fundraising program. Jim Carroll, Mason Jazz Ensemble Director, believes the scholarships made possible by the generous donations of Jazz4Justice have brought a higher level of talent to the Jazz Department. Ed Weiner also believes the annual concert has successfully promoted the program, “It’s really been a big boost for the music department. There’s now a four-year jazz program, and I’d like to think this concert has had something to do with that.”
In recent years, seven universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia have successfully instituted the program with their legal partners.
Please enjoy this video from Voice of America about Jazz4Justice.