Barney McAll

Past winner, pianist Barney McAll, now lives, composes and performs in New York.

NEWS: The 2013 National Jazz Awards: Piano

Entries close on 10 June 2013 for this year’s National Jazz Awards, which carry a top prize of $10,000. This year Australia’s most prestigious jazz instrumental competition will be open to Australia’s leading young jazz pianists.

Musicians of any nationality up to the age of 35 will be vying for a spot in the final 10, to compete at this year’s Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues on Sunday, 3 November.

The National Jazz Awards winner will receive $10,000, the runner-up $5000, and the third placegetter $2500. In addition to these cash prizes, the winner will be invited to record in the ABC studios for ABC Classic FM’s Jazztrack With Mal Stanley, and to perform at the 2014 Stonnington Jazz Festival.

Renowned jazz pianist Mike Nock will again serve as Chairman of judges for the awards. He will be joined by two other outstanding jazz pianists, previous National Jazz Award winner, New York based Barney McAll, and the festival’s patron, Paul Grabowsky.

The judging panel will assess the recordings submitted on a blindfold basis. The 10 highest-ranked entrants will be invited to participate in the finals at the 2013 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, on the weekend of 1 – 4 November.

Entrants must be no older than 35, as at 1 November 2013. The closing date for entries is 10 June.

The festival’s artistic director, Adrian Jackson, said, “I know there are some outstanding jazz pianists around Australia who are eligible for the awards, and it would be great to see some of them performing at the festival. At the same time, one of the great things about this event is it helps unearth some exciting young talents from different corners of the country who are just starting to establish their careers, and gives them a chance to be heard on the national stage.”

The finals on Sunday 3 November will be broadcast live to air nationally on ‘Jazztrack with Mal Stanley’, on ABC Classic FM, from 5pm.

The National Jazz Awards have been an integral part of Australia’s premier jazz festival since the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues began in 1990. This year is the first time that piano has been featured since 2006, when the first prize was awarded to  Jackson Harrison. Previous pianists to win the title are Barney McAll, Mark Fitzgibbon, the late Jann Rutherford and Matt McMahon.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the festival’s website

ROGER MITCHELL has based this post on a media release.

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