CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2022 CYCLE 2 JSJA WINNERS!
Posted January 16, 2023
The Board of the John Stites Jazz Artist Organization is pleased to announce the 2022 Cycle 2 John Stites Jazz Award winners. We hope these projects will inspire others to apply and make John’s goal of keeping jazz alive and available to all a reality.
- Pat Cronley/Jazz on Wheels 2023 – Jazz on Wheels has been in operation since 2002 and presents live jazz performances in Flint, Michigan, to neighborhoods that may have been denied such opportunities. They offer high-quality performances in a safe, accessible outdoor space by using their signature stage truck – a self- contained, self-powered mobile bandshell complete with sound system and instruments. All events are free, and they operate on small donations and grants. Many community nonprofits partner with them to provide this service. They feel a duty to accurately represent their community and will use the funds to expand their outreach and correct the mistaken image of Flint projected by the media.
- Steve Heckler/Twin Cities Jazz Festival – 2023 will the 25th anniversary of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. The purpose of the event is to increase the jazz audience through a free festival with outstanding jazz performances. Over 300 jazz musicians perform at the festival annually. Funds will be used to support Christian McBride as the headliner for the 2023 Festival. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival strongly feels that McBride, along with increased media coverage, will attract a broader and more diverse audience including new jazz fans. The goal is to attract a new and younger audience to keep the art form alive into the future.
- Chuck Owen/ReSurgence JazzFriends Tour – The funds will be used to support a 10-day Midwest tour by Chuck Owen and ReSurgence. The tour is designed to place the sextet (along with guest vocalist Kate McGarry) in intimate performance venues as well as community/university spaces. It will allow musicians to connect, inspire, and educate in a manner that isn’t possible in large concert halls or festivals. The eclectic and accessible nature of the band’s music offers the perfect entrée to audiences that may not have had much interaction with jazz without “dumbing down” artistic sensibilities. Audience development is at the core of the tour’s mission. Partners for the tour include university jazz studies programs, local arts organizations, and jazz performance venues/clubs. All share ReSurgence’s interest in finding new ways of engaging the community and building enduring audiences.
- Lisa Sung/Building Bridges through Jazz – JSJA funds will make possible the study, arrangement, and performance of children’s music from the colonial period of three Asian countries in different stages of jazz development. Through the collaboration of local and American jazz musicians, the project seeks to develop jazz as a tool for building bridges between cultures. The group will perform at least one concert and masterclass in two of the major cities in Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam. Upon returning, they will perform concerts and hold masterclasses at three Michigan universities and various jazz venues. The project will provide the opportunity to fulfill Ms. Sung’s vision of jazz’s ability to express the hopes and dreams of different cultures to local and US audiences. The experience will also help Ms. Sung discover and develop her unique vision and make personal contributions to the expansion of jazz as an Asian-American musician.
The applications were scored by an independent Review Committee composed of professional jazz musicians with national and international experience. The winning projects focused on expanding the audience for jazz, while celebrating the diverse national and international influences on the music and identifying opportunities to capitalize on the intergenerational and cross-cultural appeal of jazz.
JSJA has awarded over $170,000 in the last 18 months. Applicants who did not win are encouraged to revise and submit their applications for consideration during one or both 2023 award cycles. Cycle 1 will begin on February 15; Cycle 2 will begin on July 15. JSJA plans to award an additional $100,000 to another group of outstanding applicants in 2023. Information on the 2023 award timelines is available on our website.
We continually revise the award process based on feedback from previous applicants and Review Committee members. We hope that you will review all guidelines before submitting your application. The FAQ page is also a good resource if you are not sure what to include when answering a question. If you have additional questions, please submit them by using the Contact form.
The Board of the JSJAO thanks all the applicants for their participation in the 2022 award cycles and looks forward to receiving the 2023 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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