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The 2nd Annual DCJazzPrix™ Competition

The application period for the 2017 competition has closed.


One hot, young band out of three DCJazzPrix semifinalists will win it all. Experience the inaugural DCJazzPrix Finals: hear three semifinalist bands, and you - the audience - will help us to pick the winner!  Semi-finalists will be announced in April, and will compete later at the finals June 15, 2017, during a show at the University of the District of Columbia. (Free, but please register.)

Register Here

DCJazzPrix, a national competition, now in its second year, was created to recognize the finest rising jazz band talent from across the U.S. The winning band is to be honored with a $15,000 award and receive pivotal professional development and visibility through a year-long association with DCJF.

DCJazzPrix is made possible, in part, by the the Anne and Ronald Abramson Family Foundation, Conrad Kenley and Linda and Michael Sonnenreich.

Meet the 2017 Finalists



AMP Trio Featuring Tahira Clayton: Pianist Addison Frei, drummer Matt Young, and bassist Perrin Grace met as students at the prestigious University of North Texas jazz program. Now in their 5th year as a band, AMP Trio, is preparing to release their third full length record, Three, later this spring. AMP Trio brought vocalist Tahira Clayton into the fold with their second album, m(y)our world, In the last year AMP Trio and Tahira Clayton have been heard at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in Rockville, MD, the Kitchen Café in Dallas, TX, and Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI among others. They have collaborated in New York at venues such as Rockwood Music Hall and the Cell Theatre. AMP Trio has also performed alongside talented artists such as saxophonists Tim Green and Quamon Fowler and trumpeter John Raymond. AMP Trio has recorded together as a rhythm section for albums by Aaron Hedenstrom, Spenser Liszt and Adam Hutcheson. (Find out more at


Ernest Turner Trio: Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, the Ernest Turner Trio is based on spontaneous and collective improvisation, infectious grooves, and a deep love for soul and the blues. With a wide array of musical influences, the trio conquers vast musical landscapes with a unique style and sound of their own. Comfortable in both the tradition of swing and blues and the contemporary sounds and styles of today, The Ernest Turner Trio looks to be a force and mainstay on the global musical stage for many years to come.



SULA’ is a 6-piece NYC-based jazz group lead by drummer/composer Diego Joaquin Ramirez. The group formed in April 2016 and has since been refining their sound with performances at Fatcat Jazz Club in The West Village NYC. The group’s members hail from Ireland, Israel, Portland, L.A, Syracuse, and are also alumni of Berklee College of Music, The Thelonious Monk Institute, Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, The New School, and SUNY Purchase along with receiving the 2017 ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composition award for Diego’s original composition performed by the group. Collectively the band members have recorded and performed with musicians such as Taylor Swift, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jimmy Cobb, Vijay Iyer, Mike Stern, Nate Smith, and Adam Cruz.


2016 's winner was the New Century Jazz Quintet (NCJQ). Based in New York City, NCJQ is co-led by drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., and pianist Takeshi Ohbayashi, with Braxton Cook, on alto saxophone; Benny Benack III on trumpet and vocals; and bassist Yasushi Nakamura




NCJQ competed in the Finals, June 18, 2016, against two exceptional fellow finalists - the New York City-based Cowboys and Frenchmen, and Washington, DC's Mark G. Meadows & The Movement.  All three bands presented solid, swinging 20-minute sets, exciting the audience throughout.


Check back for more details and updates about the 2017 DCJazzPrix®


Traveling to #dcjazzfest? Our friends at Amtrak are giving you a special offer. Buy one ticket and save 30% off the second. More details at


For questions about the competition, requirements, eligibility, or travel/accommodation, please contact
DC Jazz Prix, JazzPrix