2023 ISJAC/USF Prize for Emerging Black Composers 

The cycle for this prize has closed. Check back in September 2023 for information about the 2024 Prize Guidelines.

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers, in tandem with University of South Florida, is delighted to announce the dates and guidelines for its annual “Prize for Emerging Black Composers” offered to young, up-and-coming composers of color.  The composer of the winning work will receive a $1,500 cash award and have their work performed at the 2024 ISJAC Symposium.  The winning composer will also be offered a publication contract with iJazzMusic.com for international distribution of their work should they so choose.

Eligibility:  The competition is restricted to those composers age 35 or younger at the time of submission of materials.  There is no application fee; but all applicants must be full (paid) members of ISJAC.  To join www.isjac.org  

Submission Guidelines:  Those wishing to apply for this prize should submit the following materials via the portal on the ISJAC website.

  • Application Form 
  • Full score in PDF format 
  • Mp3 of best recording of the work

The competition is open for any size jazz ensemble or instrumentation.  However, if selected as the winner, a work that employs instrumentation outside of that found in a traditional jazz big band (5/4/4, PBGD with standard woodwind doubles) will not receive the featured performance.  

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 Oct. 20th, 2023.  Late submissions will not be considered.  Notification of the winning work will be made in early December, 2023.

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.

Link to Application (Viewable by Members Only)