Jazz 4 Justice concert benefits community, JMU scholarships

The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University is partnering with the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference to present “Jazz 4 Justice,” featuring JMU’s Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Chuck Dotas, award-winning faculty members and a special guest conductor. This second annual concert benefiting the Diversity Conference, Blue Ridge Legal Services Inc. and JMU’s School of Music scholarships will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. in the Forbes Center Concert Hall.

“Jazz 4 Justice” will feature hits from the big-band swing era including music by Gil Evans, Mary Lou Williams, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own instruments to participate in a post-concert jam session in the Forbes Center Grand Lobby.

Established in 2010, The Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference provides a unique opportunity for those in the legal profession to assist in meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse population. The conference focuses on fostering and encouraging diversity in the judiciary, to facilitate diversity in professional leadership opportunities and to ensure that Virginians’ changing legal needs have been met.

Blue Ridge Legal Services Inc. is a nonprofit charitable law firm providing free legal assistance in civil matters of critical importance to low-income residents of the Shenandoah Valley and Roanoke Valley. The BRLS mission is committed to eliminating poverty-based inequities in the civil justice system. BRLS is dedicated to providing high-quality legal advice and representation to low-income residents.

The JMU Jazz Ensemble, founded in 1971, is the premier jazz group in the School of Music at JMU. The ensemble has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Terrace Theater, Montreux International Jazz and Blues Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and Virginia Music Educator’s Association annual convention.

The group has been featured with the U.S. Navy Commodores Jazz Ensemble and U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note Jazz Ensemble and at the East Coast Jazz Festival in Rockville, Md. The ensemble has performed with jazz artists Dick Oatts, John Clayton, Justic DiCioccio, Paul McKee, Dave Glenn, Joseph Eckert, Charles Bubeck, Clay Jenkins, Antonio Garcia, John D’Earth, Chris Merz, Dana Landry and Jim White.

Tickets are $15. For tickets, visit www.jmu.edu/JMUarts or call the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000.

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