Next Jazz Legacy
Next Jazz Legacy: For A More Inclusive Jazz Future
Overview and Guidelines
This national program is focused on increasing opportunities for emerging women and non-binary improvisers in jazz, who have been underrepresented in the art form (Please check your eligibility below). Each selected awardee will receive: a $10,000 award, apprenticeship (performance opportunities with master bandleaders), creative & business mentorship sessions, a learning cohort, and professional and promotional support. Next Jazz Legacy is a partnership between New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice with support from the Mellon Foundation. This program was co-founded by NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington and Vanessa Reed, New Music USA President & CEO.
According to a study of the NPR Music Jazz Critics poll, women made up only 16% of the core band personnel for the albums in the 2019 poll, and the majority of jazz albums ranked included no women musicians at all. Next Jazz Legacy will address these statistics by supporting early-career-stage artists whose access to resources has been limited. (1) By offering creative and professional experience through long-term apprenticeships, financial support and promotion, Next Jazz Legacy aims to inspire change that will benefit everyone in the jazz community.
The 2nd cycle (2022-23) of the Next Jazz Legacy program will include six artists chosen by an esteemed panel of musicians, chaired by NJL Artistic Director Terri Lyne Carrington, with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles. Candidates must be U.S. residents, fully vaccinated, and not currently enrolled in an academic institution program or contracted with a third party recording company. Selected artists will be announced in January 2023.
Next Jazz Legacy is a partnership between New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice with major funding from the Mellon Foundation and additional support from Next Jazz Legacy donors Joseph A. and Nancy Meli Walker.
(1)This study was undertaken by Lara Pellegrinelli and a team of independent reporters.
Application deadline: October 17th, 2022 at 11:59PM (Eastern Time)
DEADLINE EXTENSION: October 31st, 2022 at 11:59PM (Eastern Time)
What Next Jazz Legacy Offers:
The Next Jazz Legacy program combines individual and group learning opportunities with financial support and promotion. Our focus is emerging artists who are at a pivotal stage in the early phase of their career as a professional artist. From 2021-2023 we will support 6-7 artists per year with a comprehensive package of support that is designed to have deep impact on each participant’s career. Each participant will benefit from the following activities:
Apprenticeship: learning by doing - performances under the stewardship of a master bandleader
Creative & Business Mentorship: knowledge and guidance, passed from one generation to the next, from both artists and industry professionals
Learning Cohort Sessions (4 per cycle): an opportunity for participants to learn together, exchange ideas and build a professional network under the guidance of Terri Lyne Carrington and with input from guest speakers
(1) Berklee Online learning course provided by the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice
Empowerment and promotion: experience for participants to present and communicate about their music via the Next Jazz Legacy podcast, short films and showcases developed in collaboration with partner presenters
Financial investment: one $10k grant per apprentice, which enables participants to invest in the next stages of their career. Once selected, participants will be asked to propose how they would use their grant to cover specific costs that would contribute to their career development. This will be signed off by the NJL project team. Participants can consult with their business mentor for advice on best usage of funds.
Next Jazz Legacy seeks to support emerging artists whose access to resources and learning has been the most limited, including but not limited to, women of color and non-binary improvisers. This contributes to the jazz community as a whole by making it more accessible to a broader range of untapped artists and, longer-term, increasing the quality of the music itself.
The artist applying to this program must be:
A woman or non-binary improviser in jazz
An emerging artist with substantial professional experience
21-35 years old
Based in the US or a US territory
Available for full participation in the program between January 2023 and December 2023
At this time, this program will not consider supporting artists that are:
Enrolled in an academic institution at any time during the duration of the program
Contracted with a third party recording company
Based outside of the US
Not able to demonstrate their need for this program
COVID-19 Safety Protocols: To create the safest environment possible for our program participants and to comply with the regulations of many live venues, we require everyone participating to be fully vaccinated by the start of this program. We will also expect all participants to comply with any regular testing protocols.
Application Launch: Monday, September 19th at 2:00PM (EST)
Application deadline: October 17th at 11:59PM (EST)
Decisions issued in December 2022.
Awardees officially announced in January 2023.
1. Performance Videos: Please submit (3) video performances featuring you in an ensemble setting. Please include original composition(s) or an arrangement(s). You may include an audio recording, but we highly encourage you to submit (3) videos. Your submission, including (3) videos/audio, should not be longer than 10 minutes max. If you're sharing a YouTube link of a full concert, please provide a Timestamp that best represents your artistry.
2. Personal statement
The application form can be completed by submitting a video (max 2 mins) or uploading a written response (max 500 words) in a PDF or Word document format. You are not required to submit a video response, but you must please choose one of these approaches as our advisors will only review one. You may provide links to YouTube or Vimeo or upload an .mp4, .mov, or .avi file if submitting a video. Please cover the following questions:
Tell us about your music and how you are seeking to grow as an artist
Why is this program important to you right now? Please consider the different opportunities the program is offering (e.g. apprenticeship, mentoring and being part of a cohort). Please also tell us about the barriers you’ve faced until now, if any you wish to disclose.
How would you gain from and contribute to the peer learning cohorts?
Applications will first be screened for eligibility and completeness and then moved to a peer review process. Submissions will be judged by a panel of independent artists and experts Chaired by Terri Lyne Carrington. All applications will be judged equally on:
- Artistry (creativity, interpretative skills), musicianship (technique, rhythmic interpretation, improvisation), and composing/arranging skills, as demonstrated through the submitted work samples
- The potential impact the program will make toward the next steps in your career
Any questions should be addressed to our Program Manager Lolivone de la Rosa at firstname.lastname@example.org