Contest launched for school jazz bands with $18,000 in prizes

young jazz banda national competition for high and middle school jazz bands offering $18,000 in prizes, was launched last night in Wellington.

the young jazz band initiative is a joint venture between the
Youthtown Trust and the Aotearoa Jazz Education & Performance Charitable Trading Trust (AJE&PCT), and supported by Musicworks NZ and the New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī

The AJE&PCT, led by renowned jazz trombonist and bandleader Rodger Fox, will lead the
young jazz band competitions.

Fay Amaral – Executive Director of Youthtown – with Rodger Fox at the launch of Young Jazz Band-it

Rodger Fox says, “Our goal for the young jazz band
competition is to add value to school music departments through the prizes offered and to create a prestigious school jazz competition and educational event. These competitions aim to elevate musicality, broaden musical perspectives, and inspire the performance of young jazz musicians.

the young jazz band The initiative currently includes three competitions. the Young Band-It – Essential NZ Jazz Band Competition recognizes and rewards excellence in jazz musicianship and interpretation. Groups participating in this competition must have between 14 and 20 members, one of whom can be a singer, and three prizes are offered. The winner will receive $6,000 worth of musical equipment from Musicworks NZ plus a recording and music video (valued at $4,250). The second and third groups will receive $2,500 and $1,500 in musical equipment, respectively.

the Young Jazz Band-It – New Zealand Composition Competition was developed to promote New Zealand compositions in jazz. This award will be given to the best jazz piece composed by a New Zealand high school or college student(s) and performed by a high school or college jazz band. Bands participating in this competition must have a minimum of four and no more than eight musicians, one of whom may be a singer. The winner will receive $1,000 of musical equipment plus a recording and music video, and the runner-up will receive $500 of musical equipment from Musicworks.

The third competition, the
Young Jazz Band-it – New Zealand Improv Competition, aims to promote the art of jazz improvisation. Three Musicworks musical equipment prizes are offered: $750 for best instrumentalist, $750 for best vocalist and $750 for best drummer.

Rodger Fox said: “A big shout out to the administrators of Youthtown for funding this initiative through Aotearoa Jazz Education & Performance Charitable Trading Trust Inc., and to Musicworks NZ for providing the generous prize money.”

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Ada J. Kenney