National Jazz Awards

2021 National Jazz Awards

COMPETITION RULES

  1. The National Jazz Awards are organised as part of the 2021 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, and the semi-finals and finals will be held in Wangaratta on the weekend of October 29 – 31, 2021.
  2. The competition is open to high-level musicians of any nationality. The age limit is 36 inclusive (i.e., if you are 36 or younger on or before December 31st, 2021 you are eligible).
  3. To enter the competition, contestants must submit a recording of three pieces, one of each from the categories detailed below (not necessarily in this order):
    a) an Australian composition
    b) a ballad (standard or original)
    c) a blues (standard or original)

The blues need not strictly follow the standard 12 bar form. It must, however, clearly reference the fundamental harmonic structure of the blues; the relationship between the I7, IV7, and V7 chords. If you are in doubt of the suitability of a piece, please contact the Festival artistic directors.

Where the piece in category (a) is a ballad or a blues, the applicant may elect to complete the program with an original piece (i.e., composed by the applicant) in any style.

One of these pieces must be played by the contestant with a band including brass/ woodwind (TBA), double bass and drums. The other two pieces must use any combination of these instruments, from solo to quartet.

NOTE :

    • Total time of the recording is not to exceed 25 minutes; no one piece may exceed 10 minutes. A total duration of approximately 15-20 minutes is recommended.
    • You will provide a link to the submission that will be downloaded (i.e., a link to Dropbox, Google drive, Soundcloud, etc.). Submissions are to be in mp3 format and no larger than 10mb per song.
    • Contestants are urged to submit recordings that display their ability to meet a range of challenges, at a variety of tempi.
    • Contestants will not be judged on the basis of the other players in the ensemble. However, they should assume responsibility for the overall shape of the performance, including choice of material, arrangement of ensemble passages, sequence and duration of solos, etc.
    • Recordings need not be of professional quality, but entrants are reminded that a clear sound will make it easier for the judges to evaluate submissions.
    • The entrant’s name must not be announced on the recording.
  1. Contestants must complete the online application form and include links to their recordings. Receipt of all entries will be acknowledged in writing.NB: Acceptance of entries, and nomination of finalists, is at the discretion of the judges of the competition. Their decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding their decisions.
  2. Closing date for entries is 11:59 pm August 1, 2021. Entries submitted after this date will not be forwarded to the judges for assessment.
  1. Entries will be de-identified before being disseminated to the judging panel. The panel will assess entries on a range of criteria including:
    • Technique, including sound production and control
    • Time feel.
    • Improvisation, including melodic line, harmony, rhythm, structure
    • Originality/ strength of concept/ adventurousness
    • Engagement with ensemble during performance.
  1. A maximum of ten contestants will be selected to perform in the semi-finals as part of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues. Applicants will be advised by email or telephone of their invitation to participate in the semi-finals. This notification will be sent on September 1, 2021. Contestants selected for the semi-finals must reply to the organisers confirming their participation within seven days of receiving the invitation. Failure to do so will lead to disqualification and allow the next rated candidate to participate. All applicants will be notified if they are successful or not.
  2. Contestants must be prepared to play in the semi-finals in Wangaratta from Friday, October 29 to Sunday, October 31, 2021. Of the ten semi-finalists, three will be chosen to perform in the second and final round.
  3. The requirements for the semi-finals and the finals are the same as for the initial application i.e, the repertoire performed must comprise:
    a) an Australian Composition
    b) a ballad (standard or original)
    c) a blues (standard or original).

The blues need not strictly follow the standard 12 bar form. It must, however, clearly reference the fundamental harmonic structure of the blues; the relationship between the I7, IV7, and V7 chords. If you are in doubt of the suitability of a piece, please contact the Festival artistic directors.

Where the piece in category (a) is a ballad or a blues, the applicant may elect to complete the program with an original piece (i.e., composed by the applicant) in any style.

One of these pieces must be performed by the pianist with the band (brass/ woodwind [TBA], double bass and drums) provided by the Festival.  The other two pieces must use any combination of these instruments, from solo to quartet.

Contestants may play these pieces in any order.

Total performance time is not to exceed 25 minutes; no one item may exceed 10 minutes. (A total duration of approximately 20 minutes is recommended).

Contestants are urged to display their ability to meet a range of challenges, at a variety of tempi.

Contestants must assume responsibility for the overall shape of the performance: choice and arrangements of material, arrangement of ensemble passages, sequence and duration of solos, etc.

The judges will assess performances on the criteria outlined in section six above.

  1. Contestants must respect the specified time limits; failure to do so will affect the judging panel’s ratings.
  1. Contestants must appear in the order and at the times specified by the organisers.
  2. All performances as part of the competition will be open to the public and broadcast live via Facebook. Contestants waive their right to request fees for the broadcast but retain ownership of the recorded performance.
  3. No fees of any kind will be paid to contestants.
  4. Contestants may use written charts or scores if they desire. Charts must be provided for the band two weeks prior to the beginning of the Festival.
  5. A brief rehearsal with the band will be available during the afternoon of Friday, October 29. Rehearsal times will be advised by the organisers.
  6. A brief rehearsal with the band may be available prior to the second and final round (subject to the availability of a suitable rehearsal space). Details will be advised when the names of the three finalists are announced.
  7. The organisers reserve the right not to award all the prizes.
  8. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson of the judging panel will exercise a casting vote.
  9. Semi-finalists will travel to Wangaratta at their own expense. Accommodation for semi-finalists will be provided by the organisers (this excludes meals, telephone calls and other miscellaneous expenses), for the nights of October 29 – 31 2021.
  10. The Festival reserves the right to cancel the National Jazz Awards for any reason and shall not be liable for compensation to any applicant or contestant.
  11. The prizes for the 2021 National Jazz Awards are as follows:

1st Prize ~ $7,000 and a recording session at Pughouse Studios (Melbourne)
2nd Prize ~ $4,000
3rd Prize ~ $2,000

nja 2021 entry form

With thanks to Pughouse Studios

Pughouse Studios have been a proud sponsor of the National Jazz Awards since 2013 and now they are delighted to present a studio recording session as part of the first prize in 2020.

Since its inception in 2012 more than 150 albums have been produced at Pughouse Studios including by many of Australia’s outstanding jazz, contemporary and classical musicians.

Owner/engineer, Nikolaus Schauble is also a composer, music producer and has worked as a jazz drummer for over 40 years. He has been nominated for many awards including the APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards (for recording).

Niko is currently working on a collaboration with West-Australian sound artist Jon Tarry as well as writing compositions for several European ensembles, including the Berlin Jazz Composers Orchestra.