Jazz Musicians From 9 Countries Met Jazz Masters in Front of a Full House at Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York
Imagine being in New York City for the first time; the site and sounds of the "Jazz Capital of the World." Now imagine this first trip to a global city as a young jazz musician, about to share the stage with your peers, not to mention some legendary jazz masters in front of a packed concert venue. Everyone should be so lucky as to have an experience of this magnitude in their lifetime, but few people are. However, for many of the performers at the Jazz Gala in New York on the evening of May 3, 2014 in the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, this experience became a reality.
Jazz musicians from all over the world took the stage in front of a full house of about 1,000 people at the Jazz Gala in New York. The concert capped off the Made in New York Jazz Competition, and featured the winners, first runner-up and finalists of the contest, among other performers. International jazz groups, and solo instrumentalists and vocalists alike performed on a stage where the static charge of the musical electricity ran through everyone in the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. The charge was created by the chemical reaction of young, talented musicians mixing for a short time before they bubbled over on stage.
Impressively, most of the musicians at the Gala had never played together, only familiar with each other from the videos they each submitted to the Made in New York Jazz Competition. According to founder of the competition Misha Brovkin, most of the musicians arrived in the Big Apple for the first time for this show, indeed, it was the first trip to the United States for some artists. The group of young jazz artists rehearsed for two full days leading up to the concert.
Additional to the new generation of jazz talent was the participation of jazz masters like Lenny White and Randy Brecker together with Yaacov Mayman - the art director of the competition, in the rehearsals as well as the concert. The artists invited to the event enjoyed spending time with jazz legends, who offered advice and tips, while they discussed the music for the program and rehearsed together.
Everything leading to concert night produced a pure musical success. A full house witnessed young musicians setting out to make their mark on the jazz world combined with the virtuosity of the jazz masters in attendance. One particularly stirring moment in the concert came as event's organizer and host of the show Misha Brovkin from backstage announced the name of the Made in New York Jazz competition winner, Anita Vitale. The Italian vocalist began to sing a cappella as the house lights dimmed and she walked on stage. As the stage lights came up, Haggai Cohen, a great bass player from Israel, emerged to provide accompaniment to the contest-winning vocalist. Eventually, they were joined on stage by David Melkonian; an Armenian musician lending his saxophone talent to the moment.
Another highlight from the evening was when Yaacov Mayman, appeared on stage to perform his original piece "Watercolor", with Lenny White Randy Brecker, New York Jazz Competition runner-up, pianist from Russia Evgeny Lebedev and Haggai Cohen Milo from the project "Evgeny Lebedev world trio"
The Jazz Gala in New York concluded with the C Jam Blues. Emotions and energy ran high and all the artists were called to the stage to jam while all they said good-bye and put a cap on the concert at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
The logos of the sponsors were spotted on the stage: KAWAI USA the future of the piano that award the elegant KAWAI ES7 Portable Digital Piano and the powerful KAWAI MP6 Professional Stage Piano to the Competition's second and third-place finishers. Brooklyn's famous - Nargis Café - one of the best central Asian cuisine in NY, highly acclaimed restaurant by NY times, Village Voice. Forte Piano Music Company.
All the supporters who have helped the Artists to get to New York: The Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism of Montenegro, Ministry of Culture of Armenia, Armenian Network of America, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), Armenian Students Association, Balassi Institute (Hungarian Cultural Center in NY), Ministry of Culture of Kursk (Russia) and many others!
About the Made in New York Jazz Competition
Leading up to the Jazz Gala in New York was the Made in New York Jazz Competition; a contest that brought musicians together from across the globe over the Internet. Submissions for the contest leading up to the Jazz Gala in New York were made online through the website, and then opened to voters who registered through the site. Winners are selected from six categories and two additional finalists who bypass to the finale by popular votes. Furthermore, submissions are vetted by an all-star committee and later by legendary jazz musicians Lenny White, Joe Lovano and Randy Brecker. The categories for the Made in New York Jazz Competition are solo instrumental, solo vocal, small band, big band, composer and arrangement. Thousands of voters chose their favorite artist submissions among these categories and help the participants to get to the finale.
Top prize in the Made in New York Jazz Competition is $3,000, plus a 10% cut of the registration fees. "Evgeny Lebedev world trio" won a KAWAI ES7 Portable Digital Piano, and NGA Big Band from Germany got a KAWAI MP6 Professional Stage Piano. The piano-making company KAWAI was the partner of the contest as well as the Jazz Gala in New York.