Eighth Annual Jazz for Justice Concert on Nov. 13

Posted: November 9, 2009 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: November 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm

The George Mason University Jazz Ensemble and the Fairfax Law Foundation present the 8th Annual Jazz for Justice concert at Mason’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m.

The ensemble, led by director Jim Carroll, will perform with 9-year-old trumpet prodigy Geoffrey Gallante and Mason freshman communications major Sha’Air Hawkins as a guest vocalist.

George Weiner, a Fairfax County Public School s teacher and brother of Jazz for Justice founder Edward Weiner, will guest conduct. The proceeds from Jazz for Justice benefit the charitable endeavors of the Fairfax Law Foundation, including supporting students in Mason’s Jazz Studies Program.

The program for the evening includes Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” and “Istahan”; Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher”; “Hang Gliding” (a programmatic work by Maria Schneider, inspired by hang gliding in Rio De Janeiro); “Summer Wind”; and Frank Foster’s “State of the Art Swing.”

“The Fairfax Law Foundation provides a valuable contribution to the Fairfax community through its programs educating young people on the justice system and its pro bono work,” Carroll says. “Our Jazz Ensemble is delighted to partner with the foundation year after year, and we’re thrilled to perform this year with such a gifted young musician as Geoffrey.”

Gallante first picked up the trumpet at age 4. Already, he has performed for and with other jazz luminaries, including fellow trumpet players Phil Driscoll, Arturo Sandoval, Hugh Masekela, Maynard Ferguson and even the preeminent jazz musician of our time, Wynton Marsalis. He has had guest solo appearances with Washington Symphonic Brass, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble and the 257th U.S. Army Band. In addition, Gallante has performed the National Anthem at many professional sports venues across the country.

Hawkins attended high school at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (S.H.A.P.E.) American High School in Belgium, where she was active in community theater and played saxophone in the jazz band, in addition to being involved in many community service projects. Hawkins aspires to work in broadcasting or public relations when she graduates from Mason.

Weiner has been a Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teacher since 1987, when he chose to leave the law firm he founded with his brothers. He received the Milken National Educator Award in 2002, and for 22 years, he has served on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council. Weiner also can be found on FCPS Channel 21 as Dr. Esperanto in “Universal Words,” a show that shares his highly regarded vocabulary program with an audience wider than his classroom.

The Jazz for Justice event is the creation of Edward Weiner in collaboration with Mason music professor James Gardner. Weiner is a member of the Arts at Mason Board. He is the founder and senior partner of the Fairfax law firm Weiner, Rohrstaff & Spivey.

The Fairfax Law Foundation, an affiliate of the Fairfax Bar Association, was created in 1982 as a 501 (c)(3) organization to conduct educational and charitable activities in support of the Fairfax community.

The organization provides educational programs for area youth about the adverse legal and medical effects of drug and alcohol abuse; arranges courthouse tours with education about the judicial system for middle school students in Fairfax County; operates the Pro Bono Program, which provides legal services for Fairfax County residents who cannot afford legal services; and holds programs to counsel at-risk youth and victims of domestic violence.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors. A limited number of tickets are free for students with a valid Mason ID. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

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