Photo credit: Alan Dunlop


Our Mission

Drugs, violence and hopelessness are realities for many of today's youth. We Are One Jazz Project provides an alternative by building courage and confidence in children, empowering them to become tomorrow's leaders by harnessing the core power of the arts.

Our History

We Are One Jazz Project was founded in Canada in 2008 by Howard Rees, an internationally respected musician, educator and author. Our Vision is to harness the beauty and power of jazz music as a force for social change through which to inspire young Canadians. Through direct interaction with master musicians, each annual project will also teach the benefits of hard work, building bonds and self-discovery. Our Goal is to kindle in every participant a lifelong motivation for creative thinking and excellence in their own lives and their communities through jazz music.

Our Market

At a time when budget cuts have resulted in decreased arts education, We Are One Jazz Project helps fill the gap through an innovative mentoring program that complements the school system. WAOJP’s program provides a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity to "at risk" students, ages eight through thirteen, who otherwise might not have access to master musicians. WAOJP views "at risk" students as those with socio-economic and environmental conditions that may put a child's development in school "at risk". Children who live in today's environments face a higher degree of negative influences in their decision-making process and, thus, need positive influences like WAOJP. Working with children from under-serviced communities in Ontario since 2008, our mandate includes expanding cross-Canada.

Our Funding

We rely on individuals, corporations and foundations for the majority of our funding. Donations may be made by calling 416-937-8620 or online via Canada Helps.

Our Board Members

  • Gordon Braun-Woodbury (Chair) Founder & CEO, MarketOps
  • John Ferguson, (Director) Senior Partner, STS Capital Partner
  • Larry Green (Director) Radio & TV Personality
  • Mary Jane McNamara (Director) Superintendent of Education, Toronto District School Board
  • Robert Rowe (Director) Partner, KPMG

Our Project's Mentor, Composer & Inspiration

  • Dr. Barry Harris

Our Staff

  • Howard Rees, Founder & President
  • Cathy Whalen, Operations Manager
  • Sophia Perlman, Children's Choir Conductor
  • John Pagnotta, B.F.A., O.C.T., Orchestra Conductor
  • Liane Fainsinger, Adult Choir Conductor
  • Lenny Binder, Piano Accompanist
  • R. Alan Dunlop, Photographer



Canadian Charitable Registration #84740 4704 RR0001
Project Partner
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
Lead Sponsors
Lead Sponsors Telus Mobility Black Artists' Networks Dialogue TD Canada Trust
Copyright We Are One© 2012-2018. All Rights Reserved.