Legal Services of North Florida hosts "Jazz for Justice" fundraiser

Mar 21, 2012

Legal Services of North Florida hosts its yearly “Jazz for Justice” fund raiser this Sunday.  Tom Flanigan reports this will also be the final major event at one of Tallahassee’s landmark eateries.

Legal Services of North Florida Executive Director Kris Knab says this will be Jazz for Justice’s fifteenth year:

“For the last several years it’s been a huge turnout of people supporting Legal Services of North Florida, both within and outside the legal community.  But we always really appreciate everybody who comes out.  It’s a fun event, the musicians are great, the silent auction is great, everybody has a good time rain or shine, though we prefer shine.”

The event is a big money raiser for Legal Services and Knab says that’s needed now more than ever.

“A lot of the funding that we get from different grant sources is being reduced or drying up.  And so private funds are more and more important.  There are more people that are eligible for our services because of the economy so we’re seeing a lot more people coming in with housing related problems, foreclosures, a lot more people who are experiencing domestic violence because of the pressures of the household.”

Fans of previous Jazz for Justice outings will have lots to lure then back to this year’s event.  Legal Services of North Florida’s Mary Dekle says a terrific musical lineup will be performing during the main event this Sunday from four to seven.

“Randy Webster and ‘Doc’ Palecki will be playing, opening up at four o’clock.   The Longineau Parsons Ensemble will be next.  We’re glad to have Longineau back again this year and his ensemble.  And then you have Mark Russell who’s a wonderful jazz violinist and Mark’s flown all the way back from Tokyo just to do Jazz for Justice with us again, so we’re really glad about that.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a real gala without a pre-party.  And Dekle says Jazz for Justice has a great one lined up.

“The VIP reception is from three to four and you can tickets for that – there’s a patron ticket package or sponsorship – and at the champagne reception, you can have some nice little goodies to eat, get in early to the event, which is always nice to get a parking spot.  There will be valet parking as well if people want to take advantage of that, and the Steffi Tossos Trio will be playing.  They were at the afterglow last year and they were so good.  We wanted to bring them back for our VIPs, which are our sponsors and patrons.”

Speaking of the afterglow….

“An event that we started last year.  It’s a way for all of our volunteers to enjoy themselves after they’ve worked so hard all day and all those people who just don’t want the party to end.  It’s going to be on the lawn of Chez Pierre this year and the Big Kahunas will be playing, which are a group of musicians who are all in the legal profession here in Tallahassee and they just have fun.  So you can enjoy yourself at the afterglow.”

That will happen from seven-thirty until nine.  There will be a decided note of bitter-sweetness to this year’s Jazz for Justice, says Kris Knab, because it will be the last one at the event’s long-standing venue:

“They have been wonderful to us.  The Chez Pierre family has opened their arms and their doors to us for so many years.  The staff has been extremely helpful in setting up this event and working this event and it’s a huge loss for us.  It’s a huge loss for the community because so many other important events have been held there.  So yeah, we’re going to miss it, but we celebrate them and we thank them.”

Legal Services of North Florida’s Jazz for Justice, this Sunday at Midtown’s Chez Pierre.  A great time for a great cause.