Through the power of music, Emridge “E.J.” Jones Jr. continues to transform the community he loved.
He started as a child performing in church. He learned to play the saxophone, keyboards, flute and more. He grew to become a jazz band leader, entertaining audiences at clubs, festivals and other performances. As a music producer, E.J. collaborated with fellow musicians to write, arrange and record.
During his musical career, E.J. performed with the likes of B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Olivia Newton John and George Benson. He wrote and produced with acts such as the Miami Sound Machine, Donna Allen and Stacey Lattisaw, the Sun Sentinel reported in 2002.
But beyond playing and producing music, E.J. dedicated himself to teaching the next generation of performers. E.J.’s work as an instructor and band director for Broward schools empowered local students to explore music and hone their skills. Through the local nonprofit Ashanti Cultural Arts, E.J. put his talent to use in after-school programs, summer camps and other community programs.
“He used his gift of music to enrich the lives of others, especially young people. He wanted to help them grow and live up to their potential,” E.J.’s wife Linda Houston Jones said. “When he saw a young person who couldn’t see the possibilities, he opened their eyes to what they could achieve and inspired them to see their own greatness.”
To honor E.J.’s BOLD impact, the Community Foundation of Broward in 2002 established an endowed charitable Fund in his name to support young African-American musicians and artists for generations to come.
Now nearly two decades after E.J. died, the Emridge E.J. Jones Fund at the Community Foundation continues his legacy of lifting up others through music. Grants from this endowed Fund have supported dynamic programs such as:
- Apprentices in Jazz: provides scholarships for young people from low-income families to participate in a jazz summer camp at the Dillard Center for the Arts.
- Young At Art: incorporates the arts into STEM programs to help student achievement at underperforming schools.
- Boys & Girls Clubs: fine arts program to help children explore their artistic potential and encourage self-expression.
- And much, much more.
Because the Emridge E.J. Jones Fund is endowed – able to grow through investment – support for the arts in E.J.’s name will continue forever. The Community Foundation is proud to help carry on his legacy of support for Broward’s children and the arts.
To learn how you can create BOLD impact with an endowed charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.