Marshall University, a leading institution of higher education in West Virginia, and the Nu Jazz Agency, have announced the finalists for the inaugural 2018 Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition to be held June 22- 23, 2018 in Huntington, WV (U.S.A.).
About The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition & Finalists
The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, named after NEA Jazz Master, legendary educator and patriarch of “America’s First Family of Jazz” will be held triennially in the City of Huntington, West Virginia (U.S.A.) in partnership with Marshall University and the Nu Jazz Agency. The 2-day competition is designed to challenge competitors’ skills and abilities across different genres, styles, and formats of the jazz idiom. Seven finalists have been chosen from over 160 entries and 45 qualifying submissions from 13 different countries, to vie for over $200,000 in cash and prizes.
The seven finalists are:
The competition will be held on June 22, 2019 from 6:30 pm- 9:00 pm (EST) [Segments 1 & 2] and on June 23, 2018 from 6:00pm-8:45pm, (EST) [Segments 3 & 4] which will be streamed on the Huntington International Jazz Festival's Facebook Page at (Huntington Jazz Fest Official Facebook Page
NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis
, seven (7) time Grammy and Latin Grammy winner Arturo O'Farrill
, Jon Batiste
, and special guest judge NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis
, will select the First, Second and Third Place Winners through an intensive series of competition segments designed to demonstrate performance at the highest level and to showcase the broad range of skills necessary to be a pianist of the “first call” in the Jazz industry. Additionally, two (2) special merit awards will be awarded for “Best Rendition of an Ellis Marsalis Song” and “Best Original Composition .
The finalists will be paired with some of the jazz industry’s top side personnel to navigate three (3) of the four (4) live competition segments.Team 1 features Dezron Douglas
(Acoustic Bass) from Hartford, CT and Dayeon Seok
(Drums) from South Korea; and Team 2 features Mimi Jones
(Acoustic Bass) from New York, NY and Jerome Jennings
(Drums) from Cleveland, OH. Additionally, Special Guest Camille Thurman
(Tenor Saxophone/Vocals) will appear in a special PLUS Onesegment in which competitors must accompany her as both Instrumentalist and Vocalist on songs to be randomly selected from a pre-approved list.
The First Place Winner will receive the Grand Prize which includes: a $25,000 (USD) cash prize; a record contract with ELM Records; management, marketing, booking, and promotions assistance from Nu Jazz Agency. First Prize also includes guaranteed performance opportunities from a bevy of venues and festivals around the world, including a night at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (New, York, NY); SOUTH Jazz Bistro (Philadelphia, PA); the San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), Le Duc des Lombards (Paris, France), and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music (New Orleans, LA). Second Place and Third Place winners will receive $10,000 (USD) and $5,000 (USD) respectively, as well as their own series of national and international performance opportunities.
“This competition is something that I am really proud of being able to put together at this point in my career” says NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis. “With entries from France, Russia, the Netherlands, Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Japan, England, Germany, Chile, Italy and countless other countries, it is proving that jazz truly is an international language.”
The dizzying array of talent that we had, proved to be a tough job for the preliminary judges to make decisions on” says Jerald Miller, Executive Director of the competition and Managing Director of the Nu Jazz Agency.
“In my book, the seven finalists are all winners already. But when all is said and done, only one can walk away with the top honor. Whoever wins will truly be worthy of the prize, but they will have to have earned it.”
For more information on the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, or entry information, visit: jazzpianocompetition.org
or call (212) 920-1494 ext. 3. For press or media inquiries contactJean Hardiman,University Communications Specialist at Marshall University, by phone at: (304) 696-6397 or via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org