Kimmel Center seeks artists for Jazz Residency Program


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Jazz Residency Request for Proposals | Download the Application Now (PDF)

“We need to work to rebuild appreciation of jazz and promote innovative presentations of jazz music to build the audiences that clubs need to survive.” —Mayor Michael Nutter

The Kimmel Center is proud to launch a residency program for Philadelphia Jazz Artists who are inspired to push jazz into the future with the creation of new work. Jazz came from our mashing music together and expanding into new territory; incorporating the music of the church, blues, ragtime, and beyond. It’s made of sounds and cultures all combined together, forged in the crucible of America – particularly here in Philadelphia where decades of jazz legends have played and jammed including Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. As our society urges forward and changes with the times, what will jazz sound like in Philadelphia? How does this art form grow and meet the demands and interests of new audiences? For this residency, we invite the artists of our city to join us in discovering the future of jazz by creating something new.

We are inviting three individual artists or teams of collaborating artists to make the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio their home this season. This residency will allow these artists the time and space to create new works of jazz in the city’s largest performing arts center. We want to help you share your music with jazz audiences, students, young adults, and newcomers to the art form. Let us give you a place and the resources to make it happen, to create your work while enriching our lives.

This residency is being made possible from a Knight Arts Challenge Grant. With this funding, The Kimmel Center has an opportunity to use SEI Innovation Studio to bring a diverse set of audiences into our spaces by supporting collaborative projects with community artists in the form of residencies. The main goals of the program are to provide resident artists with the opportunity to develop, produce, and perform new works and help us to experiment and evolve with Philadelphia’s vibrant arts and cultural scene through partnerships with the city’s most talented artists.

Artistic Goals

These are the tenets with which we will evaluate your proposal. They are listed in order of priority. Please address all three in your application.

A New Work: This residency is the chance to write a new work of jazz. What will you create? This could mean a song cycle, symphony, opera, soundscape, or anything else. We want to help you fulfill an artistic goal to create something new.

Relevance: What does jazz sound like now? How does your new work reflect what audiences today and tomorrow want to hear? How will the audience understand your point of view by listening to your work?

Collaboration: Jazz is based in collaboration. We are looking for new ways for artists to work together. Who are possible collaborators for your new piece? An unusual musical instrument? A choreographer? Video designer? Rock band? Or perhaps someone from outside the art world such as a computer programmer or a class of pre-school students. Artists of other genres (dance, theater, visual arts) may also wish to apply to do a collaboration with a jazz musician.


1. At least one of the core artists in the project must be from the Philadelphia region.

2. Artists of all genres and disciplines are welcome to apply. At least one of the core artists must be able to demonstrate a successful history of creating new music.

3. You will need to complete the following as part of your residency:

At least one public showing of your work in progress for an opportunity to receive audience feedback while you are writing the piece.

One educational workshop targeting teenagers and teaching them about your work and creative process. This may include students from The Kimmel Center’s Creative Music Program.

One public educational workshop / lecture demonstration allowing interested audiences direct interaction with your work and how it fits in to the jazz scene of Philadelphia.

The world premiere of your new jazz piece at The Kimmel Center in SEI Innovation Studio on June 21, 2014.


1. A commission fee of $5,000 will be provided to create this work. If there is more than one artist on the proposal, then this fee will be split among all residency artists.

2. $2,000 will be provided to cover all artist fees, transportation, lodging, and per diem costs for the public showing of the work in progress.

3. $2,500 will be provided to cover all artist fees, transportation, lodging, and per diem costs for the two educational workshops.

4. $2,500 will be provided to cover all artist fees, transportation, lodging, and per diem costs for the world premiere performance on June 21, 2014.

5. Any additional artistic costs will be paid by the resident artist(s).

6. The Kimmel Center will provide rehearsal and performance space, and cover the production costs of the events including stage labor, sound equipment, security, ushers, and box office. All final production costs and expenses will be decided by Kimmel Center Inc. in its discretion.

7. The Kimmel Center’s Education Department will work with the artist on identifying a student base and coordinating the logistics of bringing students to the workshops.

8. The Kimmel Center will actively market and publicize both the public showing of the work in progress, and the world premiere on June 21, 2014 in SEI Innovation Studio.

Project Schedule

The residency will take place at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts from December 2013 thru June 21, 2014. The exact dates for rehearsals, public showings, and education workshops will be mutually agreed upon by the artist(s) and the Kimmel Center. The premier performance of your piece will be on June 21, 2014 in the SEI Innovation Studio as part of our Summer Solstice Celebration.

  1. August 22 – October 1, 2013: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  2. Application Due Date is Tuesday, October 1, 2013. Application will not be accepted after this date.
  3. Three proposals will be chosen by The Kimmel Center.
  4. Artists will be informed of their acceptance no later than November 1, 2013
Please submit your proposal via email or regular mail by Tuesday, October 1, 2013 to: jazz@kimmelcenter.org

Jazz Residency Request for Proposals | Download the Application Now (PDF)

Jazz Residency Program
Kimmel Center, Inc.
1500 Walnut Street, Floor 17
Philadelphia, PA 19102

All questions about the application process should be addressed to: jazz@kimmelcenter.org or 215-790-5874.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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