Entries are now open for this year’s Young Jazz Band-it competitions. Young Jazz Band-it is a national competition for High School and Intermediate School Jazz Bands offering $18,000 in prizes, and now in its second year.
Last year, some 230 high school musicians from around the country descended upon the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington, for the inaugural Young Jazz Band-it school jazz competitions.
The Director of the Young Jazz Band-it competitions, renowned jazz trombonist and bandleader Dr Rodger Fox, says: “Last year’s event was tremendously successful and exceeded all expectations. It was so encouraging and inspiring to hear young musicians perform, making great music together in a supportive environment.
“We’re expecting an even better competition this year with the Grand Finals being held in Wellington at the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington on Saturday, 23 September 2023. All the information required to enter can be found on our website.”
Young Jazz Band-It initiative is a joint venture between the Youthtown 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 Young Jazz Band-it competition is a means to add value to school music departments through the prizes on offer and create a prestigious school jazz competition and educational event. These competitions are all about elevating musicianship, broadening musical perspectives and inspiring the performance of young jazz musicians.”
Young Jazz Band-it currently comprises three competitions. The Young Band-It - Essential NZ Jazz Band Competition recognises and rewards excellence in jazz musicianship and performance. Bands entering this competition must have between 14 and 20 members, one of whom can be a vocalist.
There are three prizes on offer. The winner receives $6,000 of musical equipment from Musicworks NZ plus a recording and music video (valued at $4,250). The second and third-placed bands receive $2,500 and $1,500 respectively, of musical equipment.
The Young Jazz Band-It - NZ Composition Competition aims to foster New Zealand compositions in jazz. This award is for the best jazz piece composed by a New Zealand secondary or intermediate school student or students and performed by a High School or Intermediate School jazz band. Bands entering this competition must have a minimum of four and no more than eight musicians, one of whom can be a vocalist. The winner gets $1,000 of musical equipment and a recording and music video. The runner-up in this competition receives $500 of musical equipment from Musicworks.
The third competition, the Young Jazz Band-it - NZ Improvisation Competition, rewards the art of jazz improvisation. Three prizes of musical equipment from Musicworks are on offer: $750 for the best instrumentalist, $750 for the best vocalist and $750 for the best drummer.
Entries for this year’s Young Jazz Band-it competitions are now open, and the final date to submit the video entry is Monday, 12 June 2023.
Rodger Fox says, “We are all looking forward to this year’s competitions and, once again, huge kudos to the Youthtown trustees for funding this initiative via the Aotearoa Jazz Education & Performance Charitable Trading Trust Inc., and to Musicworks NZ for providing the generous prizes.”