3rd International Jazz Composers’ Symposium

May 18-20, 2017
University of South Florida Tampa, FL USA

Sponsored By:
The University of South Florida School of Music &
The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers

Call for Scores & Papers

The third International Jazz Composers’ Symposium, co-sponsored by the University of South Florida and the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC), will be held in the new School of Music facilities at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL from May 18-20, 2017. The Symposium is designed as a forum to bring jazz composers of all ages and nationalities together for an informal exchange of ideas, information, and inspiration. This year’s Symposium will include noted master artists Billy Childs, John Hollenbeck, Maria Schneider, Chuck Owen & Rufus Reid among others, in a series of concerts, lectures, master classes, panel discussions, research presentations, and industry sessions.

Call for Scores

As part of the Symposium, composers of all ages and nationalities are invited to submit scores and recordings for inclusion in one of several featured new music / master class sessions. Works selected will be partially aired for listening by the open Symposium audience (along with projected score whenever possible) with the composer offering brief insights into his/her compositional concepts. One of the featured guest artists will then lead a short discussion of the work – offering their own insights while soliciting comments from the audience as well.

Applicants can select to submit in one of four categories:

  • Large ensemble,
  • Small ensemble (9 instruments or less),
  • Arrangement (Large or small ensemble), or
  • Student/Young Artist (must be 26 years old or younger OR actively enrolled in a university program)

To qualify, all works must have been composed or originally arranged within the last three years and must not have been commercially published or released (although works that do not meet these criteria may be presented at the Poster Sessions – see below). Composers may submit up to two works – as long as both are in separate categories. While midi-realizations are not excluded we STRONGLY recommend that composers seek out the very best recordings possible.
Interested composers/arrangers should submit:

  • a completed application form (found on the ISJAC website),
  • a PDF of the score(s),
  • an MP3 recording, and
  • a bio (no more than 100 words)

Note: Scores and recordings should exclude any information that might identify the composer but must include title of work, instrumentation, and duration.

SONIC Concert

One work in each category above will be recognized for the 2017 Symposium’s “Outstanding New Instrumental Composition/Arrangement” – with that work being featured in a performance on the Symposium’s SONIC (New Music) concert. Large ensemble compositions will be performed by the Jazz Surge, with small group personnel culled from this group. (Composers of selected small group works that would prefer to supply their own ensemble may do so.) To be considered for this opportunity, large ensemble compositions must be scored for standard jazz big band (5,4,4,PBGD). Typical doubles are permitted. Only works of less than 10 minutes will be performed in their entirety. Longer works may be submitted but will have to be excerpted for the performance.

Call for Papers

The Symposium also welcomes proposals from scholars and composers of all ages and nationalities for presentations of their own research related to aspects of jazz composition: analyses, historical perspectives, the creative process, business/audience models, criticism, etc. Selected papers may also be featured in the Research area of the ISJAC website. Presentations will be limited to 25 minutes – with an addition 10 minutes allotted for questions and comments from the audience.

Research papers must not have been presented at any other conference or forum. While they may have been submitted for publication, they must not have appeared in print prior to the Symposium. Composers may present analyses of their own composition but are encouraged to do so only if their work has been widely disseminated through recordings and/or publication.

Interested researchers should submit:

  • an application form (found on the ISJAC website),
  • An abstract of the paper (250 words or less),
  • a bio (no more than 100 words)


Poster Sessions

The poster session at the Jazz Composers’ Symposium is designed to be a flexible and informal way in which presenters can share their work (whether compositions, papers, original research/analyses, or any other related work) with interested individuals, readily engaging in conversations that lead to greater understanding and/or new opportunities.

Here’s how it works! Selected individuals will be assigned a poster board (cork backed upon which scores or papers may be pinned up) and/or table space (where laptops with head sets, CDs, or print-outs maybe displayed). Symposium attendees will have two hours in which to stroll through the hall, taking in the new projects/papers, while engaging in discussions with the artists/scholars themselves.

In this format:

  • Composers may present any works they deem of interest including works:
    • written more than 3 years ago, as well as
    • published or commercially recorded works.
  • Papers presented at other conferences will be considered for poster presentation. However, a statement specifying the particulars of any prior presentations must accompany the submission.

Interested Poster Session applicants should submit:

  • an application form (found on the ISJAC website),
  • a brief description of your presentation (250 words or less)
  • a bio (no more than 100 words)


Submission Date for All Presentations

To assure consideration, submissions must be received by ISJAC on or before Thursday, October 27th, 2016.


Review/Notification Procedures

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of highly qualified composers/scholars. Notification of acceptance will be made by ISJAC on Thursday, November 17th. Presenters will be notified by email.



All participants must register for the Symposium. Expenses for attending the symposium are the sole responsibility of the participant. To register for the symposium click here.

Click Here to Apply for the 2017 International Jazz Composers’ Symposium