DCJazzPrix™ International Band Competition

DCJazzPrix is an annual international band competition that provides a unique professional and adjudication platform for emerging bands, outside of the traditional academic and commercial arenas. Unlike other performance-based contests, DCJazzPrix puts the emphasis on the essential interactions between band members and recognizes these relationships as the core pursuit of the jazz aesthetic. Young and emerging jazz bands from around are encouraged to apply for what apsires to be a premier global platform for jazz band's seeking new audiences and exciting career navigation opportunities.

All DCJazzPrix applicants will have their music heard by a prestigious jury consisting of jazz luminaries. Up to three finalist bands will be selected to travel to Washington, DC, during the annual DC JazzFest to compete at the DCJazzPrix Finals before an enthusiastic crowd of jazz fans. The winning band will begin a yearlong association with the DC Jazz Festival to include: a $15,000 grand prize, customized business development and career impact services, extensive publicity training, and a highly visible 2022 DC JazzFest engagement with commensurate compensation.


Applications Closed For 2021, Finalists TBA:

As of April 27th, 2021, applications are now closed for DC Jazz Festival's seventh annual international band competition, DCJazzPrix

**Learn more about eligibility requirements and start your application in the "What You Need To Know" section below.**

DCJazzPrix program is made possible by the generous support of The Leonard and Elaine Silverstein Family Foundation. The DCJazzPrix award is made possible by the generous support of Conrad Kenley, and the Galena-Yorktown Foundation.

Congratulations to the 2020 DCJazzPrix Winner: The EJB Quartet

The EJB Quartet - PC: Antonio Diggs

  • Applications available online beginning Tuesday, February 16th
  • Streamlined, digital-only application process.
  • Low registration fee of $25.00 (twenty-five US dollars).
  • Who Should Apply: Band's worldwide with 2-9 instrumental/vocal members aged 18-45 (as of April 1, 2021), an open repertoire, and that have existed in its current iteration for at least three years. 
    • Bands from anywhere in the world are eligible and encouraged to apply.
  • Primary Review Criteria: Artistic excellence as evidenced by audio or visual work sample of applicant’s recent performance(s) (submitted digitally), true evidence of a working band, and a value of the perceived career opportunity and relationship with DC Jazz Festival for the applicant.
    • Band personnel stability is stressed, membership of the band may not change once the application is submitted.
  • Three Finalist bands will compete during the 2021 DC JazzFest.
  • 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.
  • Past winners include: The EJB Quartet (2020), The Ernest Turner Trio (2019), Cornerstore (2018), the Amp Trio featuring Tahira Clayton (2017) and New Century Jazz Quintet (2016).
  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET.


“It is exciting to promote the careers of emerging jazz artists committed to the creative and professional development of their very own bands; DCJazzPrix is unique in that it recognizes bands over soloists.  It allows jazz artists concentrate on band identity on multiple fronts, increase performance opportunities, and sustain collective output.”

- DC Jazz Festival Executive Director Sunny Sumter