Ellis Marsalis Piano Competition Now Open for Entries


NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis will be a judge at his namesake piano competition June 22–23 in Huntington, West Virginia.

(Photo: Courtesy of Nu Jazz Agency)

The Nu Jazz Agency and West Virginia’s Marshall University will present the inaugural Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition this summer.

The triennial event is set to run June 22–23 in Huntington, West Virginia. Entries to the competition will be open from April 9 to May 19.

The two-day competition aims at testing pianists’ aptitude across genre, style and format, and will be judged by Ellis Marsalis, Arturo O’Farrill, Jon Batiste and guest judge Branford Marsalis.

The competition’s first-place winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize; a record contract with ELM Records; and management, marketing, booking, and promotions assistance from Nu Jazz Agency. The winner will have guaranteed performance opportunities from numerous venues and festivals, including a night at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New, York City; South Jazz Bistro in Philadelphia; the San Jose Jazz Festival in California; and the Ellis Marsalis Center For Music in NewOrleans.

The second-place winner will receive $10,000, and the third-place competitor will receive $5,000, and both will be given national and international performance opportunities.

“I am very proud and honored to be presenting this competition in partnership with Marshall University,” said Ellis Marsalis. “In addition to being the only university in the world with their own building dedicated exclusively to the study of jazz, Marshall University also has the type of program and support from the community that can truly make a difference to the way this music is presented.”

The competition is set to coincide with the Huntington International Jazz Festival, which runs June 19-23.

For more information about the competition, visit the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition website. DB

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