2020 ISJAC/USF Prize for Emerging Black Composers 

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers, in tandem with University of South Florida, is delighted to announce the dates and guidelines for the inaugural Prize for Emerging Black Composers offered to young, up-and-coming composers of color. The composer of the winning work will receive a $1,000 cash award and will have their piece performed before an audience of distinguished jazz composers from throughout the world as part of ISJAC’s 2021 Un[chart]ed Territory – An ISJAC Zoomfest or as part of the 2022 Jazz Composers’ Symposium hosted by the University of Texas at Austin.

Eligibility:  The competition is restricted to those composers age 26 or younger at the time of submission of materials.  

Submission Guidelines:  Those wishing to apply for this prize must submit the following materials via the portal on the ISJAC website www.isjac.org. Registration as an ISJAC member is required but free.

  • Application Form (fee waived for inaugural prize)
  • Full score in PDF format 
  • Mp3 of best recording of the work

The competition is open to works for any instrumentation. However, if selected as the winner, a non-traditional work using instruments, beyond those found in a traditional jazz combo or big band, may not be able to be performed.  

Applicants may submit one work only (either an original composition or arrangement) which must have been written within the last two years.  

Dates:  All applications must be received by November 19th, 2020. Late submissions will not be considered.  Notification of the winning work will be made in early January 2021.

Adjudication:  ISJAC will select a panel of highly regarded, professional jazz composers tasked with reviewing all applications and selecting a single candidate whose work displays exceptional creativity, musicality, and promise of furthering the development of the body of work of other great Black jazz composers.

Thank you for your submissions. The application deadline has passed.