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2021 DCJazzPrix Applications Launch Today

The DCJazzPrix winner will receive a $15,000 cash award, year-long professional assessment benefits including career strategies, a (paid) New York City engagement & more.

2021 DCJazzPrix Applications Launch Today

The DC Jazz Festival has announced that applications are now live for its annual international jazz band competition, DCJazzPrix. Potential applicants will find guidelines and submission requirements at The entry fee remains a modest $25 per band.

"DCJazzPrix is unique in that it aims to identify and showcase emerging and exceptional jazz band talent from an international perspective," said Sunny Sumter, DCJF Executive Director, adding, "DCJazzPrix is designed to help launch and further promote the careers of emerging jazz ensembles who are committed to sustained and creative band development and performance opportunities."

The winner of the 2020 DCJazzPrix, The EJB Quartet, won a $15,000 cash prize and will perform at the 2021 DC JazzFest at The Wharf on one of their main stages. Different from other competitions, DCJazzPrix puts and emphasis on showcasing jazz bands and recognizes the essential interactions between band members as the core pursuit of the jazz aesthetic.

Among the criteria for applying is bands must be comprised of 2-9 members. Each band member must be at least 18 years old, but not older than 45, as of April 1, 2021. The application deadline is April 27, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET. Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • Bands may combine any instrumentation including conventional jazz strings and winds formats and/or percussion, voice(s), and technology.
  • Band personnel stability is stressed: band personnel may not change once the application is submitted
  • Bands must show clear evidence as a functioning, performing ensemble for at least three consecutive years prior to time of application: groups should not establish a band with the purpose of competing in the DCJazzPrix.
  • Should the band be selected as a finalist, each band member is required to compete in Washington, DC during the 2021 DC JazzFest.
  • Applicant bands may be affiliated or housed within music school departments or be categorized as "stand-alone/self-contained" and/or professionally emerging ensembles, as long as they meet entry criteria.

The DCJazzPrix winner will receive a $15,000 cash award, year-long professional assessment benefits including career strategies, a (paid) New York City engagement in the 2020/2021 season at Tribeca Performing Arts Center (TPAC) as part of TPAC's annual Jazz In Progress Young Artist Series, and a paid main stage engagement during the 2022 DC JazzFest.

A prestigious jury evaluates eligible applications based on artistic excellence and artistic merit. At the end of the evaluation period, three finalist bands will be announced and invited to Washington, DC to compete in the DCJazzPrix Finals, part of 17th Annual DC JazzFest.

The DC JazzFest continues to provide enriching and entertaining jazz performances for audiences of all backgrounds. For more information about the DC Jazz Festival, a nonprofit service organization, and the rest of their year-round programs, please visit

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