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Detroit Jazz Festival announces national jazz competitions

As part of its mission to foster and support jazz throughout the country, the Detroit Jazz Festival is now accepting submissions for two national competitions – saxophone performance and jazz arrangement – that will be judged by prominent jazz artists and educators, with prize money totaling $5,000 and the chance to perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Labor Day Weekend, August 31 through September 3.
The Detroit Jazz Festival’s JC Heard Jazz Big Band Arranging Competition and Jazz Saxophone Competition are the first of the annual competitions designed to highlight a specific jazz composer and celebrate the artistry of the saxophonist and arranger by encouraging new works from young talent throughout the U.S.
“The inaugural jazz saxophonist and arrangement competitions help seek out talented artists that deserve recognition,” said Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, in a recent news release. “It is important to help new and emerging artists establish a presence in the jazz world and continue developing their talents to hopefully become a permanent fixture. One of the definitive goals of jazz artists is to develop a highly individualized voice, and a goal of the festival is to positively contribute to jazz music and culture. This is one way we can merge these goals and make a difference.”
Arrangers will be asked to choose a composition from a significant jazz composer’s body of work, determined by the festival, and create an original arrangement for a designated ensemble. For the 2012 competition, individuals – 35 years and younger – are invited to arrange a Wayne Shorter composition of their choice for big band instrumentation with a featured soloist. Judges will include Collins; Terence Blanchard, 2012 Artist in Residence; Ellen Rowe, director of jazz studies, University of Michigan; and Russ Miller, department of jazz studies, Wayne State University. One grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and have the opportunity to see their arrangement performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival by the Detroit All-Star Big Band and a guest soloist. Two finalists will also be awarded with $500 each.
The jazz saxophonist competition seeks to recognize and provide performance opportunities to outstanding jazz saxophonists 32 years of age or younger. Applicants are asked to provide three tracks featuring a saxophonist with a rhythm section. Three finalists will be selected and scheduled to appear in Detroit to perform at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café on August 9, 2012, and at Cliff Bell’s Jazz Club on August 10, 2012. A panel of judges, including Blanchard, Collins and acclaimed Detroit saxophonist George Benson, will select the grand-prize winner and finalists. The winner will be awarded $2,000 and will be scheduled to perform a set at the Detroit Jazz Festival with the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Quartet. In addition, two finalists will be awarded $500 each.
“We are continually looking for the best ways to celebrate the jazz culture and its artists,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. “The launch of these competitions, combined with the festival’s other efforts, provide a great foundation for developing future jazz talent. The festival has always been dedicated to acknowledging the importance of jazz within our communities.”
In addition to the events on Labor Day weekend, the Detroit Jazz Festival organizes year-round cultural and educational efforts, like the JC Heard Jazz Week@Wayne and the poetry slam series, to cultivate jazz in the community.
Artists can submit their applications online or by mail. 
To apply for the Jazz Saxophonist Competition, visit–submission deadline is July 15.
To apply for the Arranging Competition, visit–submission deadline is August 1.
To mail an entry, download an application at and send the completed form and score to: Detroit Jazz Festival, ­
19900 Harper Ave.,
Harper Woods, Mich. 48225
(Attn: Sax Competition or Arranging Competition, respectively).
Finalists must submit copied parts by August 15.
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Organizers seek talent for Nashville Connection – Heroes Salute competition

The Nashville Connection – Heroes Salute is returning to Greenville, SC, on June 27-30, 2012, and organizers are looking for talented singers, songwriters, bands and musicians interested in participating in the largest music networking event in the Southeast.

The four-day event features workshops with some of Nashville’s top music industry professionals as well as an opportunity to perform for celebrity judges in the Nashville Connection music competition with $25,000 in opportunity prizes. The winner will open for country music star Darryl Worley, who will perform at the Heroes Salute Gala on Saturday evening, June 30 at 8 pm at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, SC.

Singers, songwriters, bands and musicians can sign up online for the Nashville Connection – Heroes Salute competition and workshops at Or they can mail submissions to NASHVILLE CONNECTION – HEROES SALUTE PMB # 251, 2435 East North Street, Suite 1108 Greenville, SC 29615.

In addition, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute will bring the Traveling Vietnam Wall, a portable scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the TD Convention Center for display to honor, respect and remember the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who
served in the Vietnam War.

Other events include Shine Night, a karaoke-style competition, and the Heroes Jam, an outdoor music festival featuring emerging talent. The festival culminates with the Heroes Salute Gala which features a silent auction, VIP reception, Star Walk to benefit veterans and an All-Star concert featuring Darryl Worley, Martha Reeves, Lt. Col. Mike Corrado, Barry Michael and David Brendan Hunt.

“This event provides an opportunity for aspiring artists to connect to all facets of the professional music industry and salute our heroes,” said Joan Betros, executive producer/director of the Nashville Connection — Heroes Salute in a news release.

Proceeds from the Nashville Connection — Heroes Salute will benefit a number of charities that support Veterans, including Welcome Home, Not Alone, the Vietnam Veterans of America, and Honor Flights of the Upstate.

Seating is limited. Schedules, tickets and additional information are available online at