Jazz for Justice news blog post featuring 2019 headliner Rebirth Brass Band

Jazz for Justice: LSNF provides an event to end Foo Foo Festival on a high note

Date Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Legal Services of North Florida is a nonprofit with a mission to provide an opportunity for justice for everyone. But for one day a year, that mission shifts. That day, it’s all about offering an evening to enjoy jazz. “Even for someone who doesn’t think they will enjoy jazz, they will find themselves tapping their toes, clapping their hands, or even dancing,” says Legal Services of North Florida’s Director of Philanthropy Brian Stewart. “That’s what makes jazz so appealing and therefore our event so great.”

That event is Jazz for Justice, which has historically been held in Tallahassee. Though it originated there 20-plus years ago, a few years ago, the nonprofit relocated it to Pensacola. Now, the premier jazz event is part of the annual Foo Foo Festival. “Jazz translates beautifully to Pensacola,” says Legal Services of North Florida’s Communications Director Charlotte Waters. “Pensacola actually has an incredible jazz community, and with its proximity to New Orleans, it has a lot of incredible talent.”

Each year, the nonprofit seeks to include as much as possible of that local and regional talent. In fact, more than half of the musicians are either local to North Florida or regional. “What’s great about the lineup is that we’ll have a lot of local and regional acts to start us out during the day, then we’ll have headliners perform in the middle of the afternoon, and then more local and regional acts to close out the night,” Stewart adds.

Those headliners include major jazz bands such as Tuba Skinny, a traditional jazz street band that got its start in New Orleans over a decade ago. The band started out as a casual group of street musicians that came together as an ensemble. Another headline is the New Breed Brass Band. Also from New Orleans, the unique band incorporates other sounds—such as funk, rock, and hip hop—into their music. “They are a lot of fun—all of these bands are,” Stewart said. “This event is sure to be a high-energy show.”

The show will be held in Seville Quarter on the final night of Foo Foo Festival, and like most other festival events, tickets aren’t required—though there are ticket options for reserved seating or access to a VIP area that includes food and beverages. “It’s going to be a great afternoon and evening of jazz,” Stewart said. “It has been a year of no live performances, so a lot of these bands are extremely excited about finally getting on stage again. Even if you think you’re not a fan of jazz, when you see the energy they put on stage, you’ll be asking for more.”

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