Nu Jazz Agency and Marshall University—a leading institution of higher education in West Virginia, announced the dates for the long-awaited Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition
in Huntington, West Virginia (U.S.A.). Preliminary Entry will be open to all from April 9 to May 19, 2018 (12:01 a.m. EST), with up to six (6) competitors being chosen to perform in the Live" portion of the competition June 22-23, 2018 in Huntington, West Virginia (USA). Slated to become the largest competition of its type in the world, the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Competition jazzpianocompetition.org
is a triennial event offering, an awards package of more than $200,000 (USD) in cash and prizes.
About the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition
The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz 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 competition, set for June 22-23, 2018, will take place in conjunction with the inaugural edition of the Huntington International Jazz Festival June 19-23.
The 2-day competition which takes place over four separate performance segments is designed to challenge competitors’ skills and abilities across different genres, styles, and formats of the jazz idiom. Following a process of preliminary and semi-final evaluation rounds, Final Competition Judges Ellis Marsalis, Arturo O'Farrill
, Jon Batiste
, and special guest judge Branford Marsalis
will select the First, Second and Third Place Winners. These winners, along with winners for “Best Rendition of an Ellis Marsalis Song” and “Best Original Composition” will be determined after 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 Jazz.
Segment One, New Orleans Heritage
, will test the pianist’s skills in trio format on tunes not only from Ellis Marsalis, but from the songbooks of fellow New Orleans
contemporaries such as Harold Batiste, James Black, Alvin Batiste, and Nat Perillat. Segment Two: Plus One
, will challenge the pianist to accompany both singer and instrumentalist in bodies of work from the American songbook. The pieces to be performed will be randomly selected from sealed envelopes, on stage in front of a live audience, immediately before they perform—Segment Three: Solo Piano
, will determine the pianist’s ability to play at the highest level in widely varying styles, by requiring them to play both a ballad and a Latin Jazz piece. Segment Four: The Trio
, will return to the trio format, where each competitor will be required to perform one blues, one jazz bebop standard and one original composition- to assess their potential to contribute to the future of the jazz idiom.
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 SOUTH Jazz Parlor
(Philadelphia, PA); a performance at the San Jose Jazz Festival
(San Jose, CA) and the Ellis Marsalis Center For Music (New Orleans, LA) with other venues to be announced; 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.
“I am very proud and honored to be presenting this competition in partnership with Marshall University.” Says NEA Jazz Master 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.”
“Changing lives and inspiring extraordinary futures is what we do at Marshall University, and we’ve been doing it through our jazz curriculum for many years“, says Marshall University President, Dr. Jerome Gilbert, “Although jazz music originated early in the twentieth century, this truly American art form remains relevant in our times, demanding collaboration, creativity, and flexibility. These skills are vital for tomorrow’s leaders and entrepreneurs and students of jazz, whether they become professional musicians or pursue other career opportunities, putting these skills to use daily to improvise boldly and to adapt to new environments.”
The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition
will set a new standard for top-tier Jazz competitions.” says Jerald Miller, Executive Director of the competition & Managing Director of the Nu Jazz Agency. This competition is designed to find true talent and to build truly substantive careers, regardless of the age range or sex of competitors, as long as they meet the entry requirements, by providing a combination of essential industry and career supports such as recording, management and promotion, and performance opportunities at major venues and international jazz festivals, in addition to a substantial cash prize award.”
About Marshall University
The Marshall University Jazz Studies Program offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Jazz Studies students at Marshall University are provided the tools necessary to succeed as a professional musician on the rigorous modern music scene. With the Jomie Jazz Center (a 12,700 sq. ft. facility) housing classes, practice rooms, media facility, recording studio, rehearsal hall and performance spaces dedicated exclusively to the study of Jazz, ample resources are provided to students wishing to hone their skills in the genre.
Thirteen jazz courses are offered that focus on performance, arranging and history, along with peripheral courses in music technology and music production, as well as an array of performance opportunities and ensembles. All this, in addition to regular guest artists like (26) time Downbeat Critic’s & Reader’s Poll award winner Steve Turre
, Ashlin Parker, and NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis, students are offered regular chances to engage and interact with masters of the music.
“Ellis Marsalis has been such a huge icon in jazz music and as the patriarch of the Marsalis family, but of even greater impact has been his work in jazz education for many, many years.” says Dr. Martin Saunders, Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Trumpet at Marshall University. “Having an endorsement of his trust for this program is a great honor for me.”
About the Nu Jazz Agency
The Nu Jazz Agency is an international jazz music management, marketing, promotions, booking, distribution and arts consulting company. With offices in the U.S., France, Germany, and Japan, and a staff that speaks seven different languages¸ over the last 20 years Nu Jazz Agency has developed a client roster that is a “who’s who” of the jazz, classical, and world music industries.
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 contact Jean Hardiman, University Communications Specialist at Marshall University by phone at: (304)-696-6397 or via E-mail: [email protected]