2022 Cycle 1 John Stites Jazz Award Winners Announcement
Posted July 1, 2022
The Board of the John Stites Jazz Artist Organization is pleased to announce the 2022 Cycle 1 John Stites Jazz Award winners:
- Ken Field/JazzBoston Jazz Concerts – JazzBoston in collaboration with NPR/PBS produces JazzNOW. JazzNOW is a series of free streaming jazz concerts, and the award will be used to sponsor several of the concerts. The concerts take place and are streamed live from GBH’s incredible Fraser Performance Studio in Boston.
- Peter Formanek/Edison Jazz Fest – Herbie Nichols Series – The Edison Jazz Fest (EJF) is a new annual festival centered in the underserved Edison neighborhood. The festival is dedicated to uplifting the work of unsung jazz greats through free and accessible events including world-class performances, enriching educational lectures and workshops, and inclusive community-building events. The first Fest will celebrate Herbie Nichols (1919-1963), a brilliant and singular Black composer-pianist whose work has been largely overlooked. All Edison residents will be invited to join in the celebration, which will be broadcast globally as a blueprint for building a vibrant, inclusive arts scene in a community that needs and deserves it. JSJA will be the primary sponsor for the Edison Jazz Fest in collaboration with several other community sponsors.
- Tom Kirk/Hart Community Performing Arts Series – The event is a concert by the Benny Bennack III ensemble, with a special appearance by vocalist Lauren Henderson. The concert will be part of the 2022-2023 Performing Arts Series and will take place in Hart, Michigan. The day’s activities include an afternoon workshop for area high school jazz bands and an evening concert as part of the community supported events.
The applications were scored by an independent Review Committee composed of professional jazz musicians with national and international experience. The winning projects were diverse in scope and designed to appeal to both those who appreciate jazz and those for whom these events may be their first introduction to jazz music. These projects exemplify John’s commitment to professional exceptionalism, while celebrating the diversity of the genre and jazz’s unique ability to reinvent itself in ways that appeal to multiple generations.
The JSJA awarded over $60,000 in 2021 and has awarded over $40,000 so far this year. Applicants who did not win are encouraged to revise and submit their applications for consideration during the 2nd 2022 award cycle which begins on July 15th. The JSJA plans to award an additional $50,000 to another group of outstanding applicants in December 2022. Information on the 2022 Cycle 2 award timeline is available on our website.
Some revisions have been made to the award process based on feedback from previous applicants and Review Committee members. We have also added an FAQ to the website to address reoccurring questions and clarify the Review Committee’s expected responses to some of the frequently misinterpreted questions. We hope that you will review these changes before submitting your application and that our efforts will help you create a winning application.
The Board of the JSJAO thanks all the applicants for their participation in the 1st 2022 award cycle and we look forward to receiving the 2022 Cycle 2 submissions. We encourage anyone with an idea that supports professional exceptionalism in jazz music, expands public awareness and appreciation of jazz music, or offers performance events or projects that bring jazz experiences to the community to apply.
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