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2021 ISJAC/USF Prize Winners Announcement

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) is thrilled to announce the 2021 winners of the prestigious ISJAC/USF Owen Prize in Jazz Composition and the inaugural ISJAC/USF Prize for Emerging Black Composers. All three winning compositions will be performed virtually by an acclaimed professional jazz orchestra at ISJAC’s Un[chart]ed Territory (March 18-20). Stay tuned for upcoming details!

2021 ISJAC/USF Owen Prize in Jazz Composition awarded to:
ROBERT BUONASPINA

Winning Composition: “Smile Pretty”
Robert Buonaspina is a New York City-based composer, arranger, pianist, organist, violist, and educator. A student of Jim McNeely and Phil Markowitz, Robert recently received his Master’s degree in Jazz Composition from the Manhattan School of Music.

2021 ISJAC/USF Prize for Emerging Black Composers co-awarded to:
COURTNEY WRIGHT

Winning Composition: “Like Thad”
Courtney Wright is a New York City-based composer, arranger, and baritone saxophonist. Courtney is a current member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop after recently studying with Richard DeRosa at the University of North Texas.

2021 ISJAC/USF Prize for Emerging Black Composers co-awarded to:
JOSEPH BORSELLINO

Winning Composition: “The Police State”
Joseph C. Borsellino is a Boston-based musician, composer/arranger, and
educator. Joseph is currently pursuing a Masters in Jazz Composition at the New England Conservatory after studying jazz saxophone at Temple University with Ben Schachter, Dick Oatts, and Tim Warfield.

ABOUT THE OWEN PRIZE IN JAZZ COMPOSITION

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers sponsors the annual Owen Prize with support from the University of South Florida and Distinguished Professor Chuck Owen. The Award recognizes an outstanding jazz composition by a young composer who must be a full-time student and/or 26 years old or younger at the time of submission. This year’s winner receives a $1500 cash award along with a public performance of their work at ISJAC’s Un[chart]ed Territory virtual event in March 2021.

ABOUT THE PRIZE FOR EMERGING BLACK COMPOSERS

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers, in tandem with University of South Florida, kickstarted the inaugural Prize for Emerging Black Composers in summer 2020. The award recognizes young, up-and-coming jazz 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 at ISJAC’s 2021 Un[chart]ed Territory virtual event.