John Stites Jazz Awards (JSJA)
There are two categories of John Stites Jazz Awards – Artistic Development and Jazz Events. Awards range from $5,000 to $25,000 – no cash or in-kind match is required.
1st Award Cycle applications are now closed, thank you to everyone who submitted! 2nd Award Cycle applications will be available July 15.
1st Award Cycle
- February 2 through April 15, 2022 – Applications accepted.
- April 16 through June 1, 2022 – Panel of professional jazz musicians review applications and recommend award recipients to the Board of Directors.
- June 15, 2022 – Board of Directors inform award winners.
- June 30, 2022 – Award recipients receive funding for use in 2022 or 2023.
- July 15, 2022 – Award winners are announced on the JSJA website.
2nd Award Cycle
- July 15 through September 15, 2022 – Applications accepted.
- September 16 through November 15, 2022 – Panel of professional jazz musicians review applications and recommend award recipients to the Board of Directors.
- December 1 through December 15, 2022 – Board of Directors inform award winners.
- December 31, 2022 – Award recipients receive funding for use in 2022 or 2023.
- January 15, 2023 – Award winners are announced on the JSJA website.
Award winners must include the JSJA logo on their website or social media site(s) and/or acknowledge JSJA’s financial support in newsletters and/or press releases, marketing materials, programs, and media interviews. Assistance with media promotions and logo displays will be made available to the Award winners.
Who can apply
- Emerging professional jazz musicians (or ensembles) who have completed two or more years of college-level experience in a music discipline or equivalent training
- Professional musicians with a minimum of two years of significant performance engagements
- Individuals and nonprofit organizations that sponsor jazz concerts, competitions, or projects that will enhance musicianship and public access to and appreciation of outstanding jazz performances
- Applicants may receive one JSJA every two years. (Winners must wait one year after submission of a final report before submitting a new application.)
For-profit organizations (including concert promoters, event planning and management companies, recording studios) are ineligible.
Organizations whose primary mission does not focus on jazz music may apply for an award if the funds requested will be used for a single event/project or series of events/projects that focus exclusively on jazz music.
You may apply for either an Artistic Development Award or a Jazz Event Award or both, but please remember that 60% of the points are awarded for the quality of the project and award winning projects typically focus on a new or innovative approach to jazz rather than just a way to get paid for performing.
JSJA Artistic Development Awards
- Fees for classes, workshops, clinics, scholarships, and competitions (except courses required to complete an undergraduate degree or graduate degree)
- Related expenses including required activities, supplies, travel, and housing
- Fees and expenses required for participation in classes, workshops, and clinics
- Books and supplies
- Purchased equipment including instruments
- Recordings for commercial sale and/or performance tapes
JSJA Jazz Event Awards
- Concert performances with outstanding professional jazz soloists, ensembles, and special guests (must be open to public and provide accessible entrances)
- Master-level classes, workshops, and clinics held in conjunction with performances by outstanding jazz musicians and special guests
- Jazz artist competitions with monetary awards that further education in jazz musicianship
- Community projects that expand access to or appreciation of jazz primarily in or near communities in the Midwest
- Honoraria including travel and housing for guest artists, artist fees, and artist residencies
- Performance space rental
- Marketing, technical, and logistical support for concerts and projects
- Purchased equipment including instruments
- General administrative costs and overhead expenses
- Routine performances by local artists and groups
- Donations to music departments at school districts, colleges, or universities
- Capital projects, fund-raising events, or receptions
Funding information (2022)
- Funds must be expended between June 15, 2022 and November 30, 2023.
- Awards less than $10,000:
- 85% of award issued in June 2022 (1st Award Cycle) or December 2022 (2nd Award Cycle)
- 15% issued after submission of final report – Final report deadline December 15, 2023 (Both Award cycles)
- Awards $10,000 or more:
- 60% of award issued in June 2022 (1st Award Cycle) or December 2022 (2nd Award Cycle)
- 30% issued after submission of interim financial report – Deadline December 2022 (1st Award Cycle) or June 2023 (2nd Award Cycle)
- 10% issued after submission of final report – Final report deadline December 15, 2023 (Both Award cycles)
- Final report must include narrative summary of outcomes, detailed financial statement, and publicity materials from any concert or project event. Remaining funds are forfeited if final report is not submitted.
- Award winners are required to retain and make available upon request the following supporting documentation:
- A list of dates and amounts of all grant payments received
- Documentation of all grant expenditures including paid invoices, receipts, and
- Payroll and tax withholding records
How to apply
Apply online through a third-party application process by selecting the Artistic Development Award link or the Jazz Events Award link below. The third-party application process is conducted through SmarterSelect to ensure confidentiality and impartiality in the process. You will receive an email and/or text acknowledgement from SmarterSelect that your application has been received.
2nd Award Cycle applications will be available July 15. 1st Award Cycle applications are closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions regarding the application process, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page, or submit your question using the contact form.
Apply for a JSJA Artistic Development Award
Apply for a JSJA Jazz Event Award