LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award Open for Submissions


Giveton Gelin, the 2019 Rising Stars winner in North America

(Photo: Courtesy Giveton Gelin)

While the live music industry is slowly recovering from the pandemic, the LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award is once again open for entries to offer a bit of hope to aspiring musicians.

The award presents an opportunity to win a tour of seven shows at major jazz festivals in Europe for the European winner, and 10 shows at major jazz festivals in the United States and Canada for the winner of the North American edition. Both tours will take place in summer 2022 and are accompanied by a full year of public relations and marketing support courtesy of the Air Artist Agency.

Jazz musicians can submit material (three sound samples and one video link) at l1risingstarsjazzaward, and a jury will select winners.

Submissions are open until midnight on Oct. 30, with winners announced in mid-January 2022. Musicians based in Europe must apply for the European edition, while musicians based in the U.S. and Canada must apply for the North American edition. There are no age restrictions.

The LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award started in Europe in 2017 and expanded into North America soon after.

The European winner will perform at European festivals including the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, Nice Jazzfestival in France, the Jazzopen in Germany, the Leopolis Jazzfestival in the Ukraine, the Kongsberg Jazzfestival in Norway and Love Supreme in the United Kingdom.

The North American winner perform at the Blue Note Jazz Festival, the DC Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Iowa City’s Summer of the Arts, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Earshot Festival.

Last year’s winners Itamar Borochov (Europe) and Immanuel Wilkins (North America) were announced during an online award ceremony broadcast by WBGO in the U.S. and Jazz FM in the U.K. Hosted by Jamie Cullum, the broadcast featured performances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride and Terri Lyne Carrington.

The jury of the LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award consists of jazz business specialists, journalists, producers and promoters. It is chaired every year by a well-known artist — starting with Cullum in 2017, Dee Dee Bridgewater in 2018, George Benson in 2019 and Carrington in 2020.

The LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award is an investment in the brightest jazz talents in Europe and North America and benefits from the sponsorship and dedicated backing of Mikhail Fridman, a philanthropist and the founder of the LetterOne Group.

Air Artist Agency produces the event. Its director, Burkhard Hopper, has a long career of introducing new artists. For nine years he ran the Rising Stars concert series, which helped introduce such artists as Diana Krall, Brad Mehldau, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit and Esbjörn Svensson to audiences in Europe.

To apply, go to l1risingstarsjazzaward.com. DB

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