The Annual International Band Competition of the DC Jazz Festival

The 2019 DCJazzPrix Winner: Ernest Turner Trio

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

Interested in DCJazzPrix? The next call for applications for the fifth annual DC Jazz Festival (DCJF) international band competition, DCJazzPrix, begins November 8, 2019. Jazz bands from all over the world are invited to apply. Providing a unique professional performance and adjudication platform for emerging bands, outside of the traditional academic and commercial arenas is the core of DCJazzPrix's mission. Different from other competitions, DCJazzPrix recognizes the band and the essential interactions between band members as the core pursuit of the jazz aesthetic. 

Three finalists will be chosen by a prestigious jury to compete at the 2020 DC JazzFest before an enthusiastic crowd. The winning band will begin a year-long association with DCJF to include: extensive publicity; customized business development and career impact services; 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 highly visible 2021 DC JazzFest engagement with commensurate compensation.


What You Need to Know
  • Call for applications goes live Wednesday, November 6, 2019, and is available online here.
  • Digital-only streamlined application process.
  • Low registration fee ($49.00, forty-nine US dollars).
  •  Eligibility criteria that includes global citizenry; band size (2-8 instrumental or vocal members); age parameters (18-42 as of March 4, 2019); and open repertoire.
  • Primary review criteria to include artistic excellence as evidenced by digital work sample of applicant’s recent performance(s), true evidence of a working band, and a value of the perceived career opportunity and relationship with DC Jazz Festival for the applicant.
  • Band personell stability is stressed, membership of the band may not change once the application is submitted.
  • Band may combine any instrumentation including strings, voices and winds formats and/or percussion, voice and technology.
  • Applicant bands may be affiliated or housed within music school departments or categorized as 'stand-alone/self-contained' and/or professionally emerging ensembles.
  • Application deadline is Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST.
  • Finalists will compete during the 2020 DC JazzFest: June 15, 2020. Finalists will be responsible for transportation to DC. Hotel rooms will be provided.
  • 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 2020 DC JazzFest.
  • Past winners include Cornerstore (2018), the Amp Trio featuring Tahira Clayton (2017) and New Century Jazz Quintet (2016).


“It is exciting to help identify and 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 to pause and concentrate on band identity on multiple fronts, increase performance opportunities, and sustain collective output.”

- DC Jazz Festival Executive Director Sunny Sumter