Jazz4Justice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit program, and we provide our support at no expense. As we expand our reach, however, we hope that participants will give back a small percentage (4%) of the proceeds to help offset outreach and marketing expenses. We would love to see Jazz4Justice run in every state!
Jazz4JusticeTM 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.
The event has served as one of the Fairfax Law Foundation’s major sources of funding, as well as an effective vehicle to conduct outreach about their work. Proceeds from the evening have helped the Foundation continue its mission of service to the Northern Virginia community, and equally supported the GMU School of Music with funds for student scholarships, instruments and other departmental expenses. Over the years, Jazz4Justice has raised over $150,000 for the Fairfax Law Foundation.
The program has received awards from both the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar for being an innovative fundraising program. Jim Carroll 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 2015, GMU and The Fairfax Law Foundation presented their 14th Annual Jazz4Justice concert. In recent years, six other universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia have successfully instituted the program with their legal partners.