Preliminary Judges And Side Personel For The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition From June 22-23, 2018 Announced!


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With entries from France, Russia, the Netherlands, Canda, the U.S., Brazil, Japan, England, Germany, Chile, Italy and countless other countries it is proving that Jazz truly is an international language. —Ellis Marsalis
Marshall University—a leading institution of higher education in West Virginia and the Nu Jazz Agency, have announced a “Who’s Who” list of Preliminary Judges and Side Personnel for the inaugural Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition during the Huntington International Jazz Festival June 19- 23, 2018 in Huntington, WV (U.S.A.).

About the Prelininary Judges and Side Personnel

The “Live” competition, set for June 22 & 23, 2018 is slated to be the largest competition in jazz and the first of its kind in the world. All-Star pianists Christian Sands, Zaccai Curtis, Fabian Almazan, Orrin Evans, Aaron Diehl, Aaron Goldberg, Monika Herzig and Ted Rosenthal will be among the judges for the preliminary evaluation rounds of this prestigious new international jazz event. The Preliminary Judges will determine up to six (6) finalists who will advance to the “live” portion of the competition in Huntington.

Once the finalists are selected, they will be paired with a consortium of top male and female side personnel to navigate three of the four segments of the competition. Team 1 features Dezron Douglas from Hartford, CT and Dayeon Seok from South Korea; and Team 2 features Mimi Jones from New York, NY and Jerome Jennings from Cleveland, OH. Together this select group of personnel have recorded over 120 albums to date and played with such jazz legends as Steve Turre, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Marsalis, and countless others. Additionally, Special Guest Camille Thurman will appear in a special PLUS One in which competitors must accompany her as both Instrumentalist and Vocalist segment on songs to be randomly selected from a pre-approved list.

About The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition

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 withMarshall 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. Following a process of preliminary 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 the Jazz industry.

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 Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition means so much more than just showcasing great pianists and discovering new unsung heroes in Jazz,” says Jerald Miller, Executive Director of the competition & Managing Director of the Nu Jazz Agency. “This is the chance for young or old to step to the plate and show that no matter how young or old you may be, you can contribute to the betterment of society , share , give and create—where so many others are choosing to tear apart in these times. Jazz music shows the connection that we all have to each other, and even if we don’t speak in the same shared tongues, we are still able to communicate through a shared language – JAZZ!“


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].

This story appears courtesy of Nu Jazz Publicity.
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