Tuesday, June 12, 2018

LetterOne 'RISING STARS' Jazz Award Launches in United States & Canada, Expanding Opportunities for Jazz Musicians with Monetary Prize value in Excess of $90,000

Winner To Perform at: San Francisco Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Festival, Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, DC Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival
& Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Submissions Open from July 1, 2018 - September 29, 2018

“When I first heard about the RISING STARS award and was asked to be on the jury for it I was super excited because I had seen so many talented musicians over the years not getting the right support and not developing according to their abilities. This award gives them the platform and publicity to excel and achieve on a European level. I am proud to be part of this process and to help support fresh talent.” – Jamie Cullum

To make a name for yourself as a jazz musician on the American jazz scene today requires a lot of talent and hard work, but it is of equal importance to have an effective marketing and promotional strategy to stand out from the competition and a dynamic presence on the live scene. Providing these opportunities, expertise and support to make it happen is the LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award mission. Open to all artists throughout the United States and Canada, the competition is a golden opportunity for musicians to be catapulted onto the nation’s prestigious jazz scene.

The winning musician will embark on the LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award tour along seven of North America´s Jazz festivals in 2019 – San Francisco Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Festival, Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, DC Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and Festival International de Jazz de Montréal – playing before thousands of fans and the créme de la créme of the Jazz music industry. Tour expenses will be covered, and a dedicated promotion and marketing team will ensure the winner's name is spread far and wide. The rising star tour and marketing support equates to a monetary value in excess of $90,000.
The LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award benefits largely from the sponsorship and dedicated backing of Mikhail Fridman, an international businessman, investor, and philanthropist and most importantly in this case a huge jazz fan too; the founder of the international Alfa Jazz Festival held in Lviv (renamed this year the Leopolis Jazz Festival) and a frequent visitor to jazz festivals around the world. “I love Jazz. It’s part of my life,” states Fridman. “We are looking for up and coming jazz musicians – for new talent, who are just starting as young professionals – and want to help them on their way to become the jazz stars of tomorrow. We want to help grow the next generation of jazz artists and enable them to realize their potential.”

Besides a remarkable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for live exposure at the top jazz festivals in North America, the award winner will benefit from the powerful marketing and PR expertise of the award-winning AIR ARTIST AGENCY whose director, Burkhard Hopper, has long-standing experience in introducing new artists. For nine years he was running the Rising Stars concert series in Europe, which introduced artists such as Diana Krall, Brad Mehldau, Nicholas Payton, Benny Green, Jane Monheit and Esbjörn Svensson. “My whole life I have worked to further the career of young and upcoming artists,” says Burkhard. “I am very happy that with the support of Mikhail Fridman it will be possible to continue with the RISING STARS competition that was so successful from 1996 to 2004.”


The submission process is open to all artists residing in the United States and Canada. Submissions can be made via upload onto a dedicated website (www.l1risingstarsjazzaward.com) from July 1, 2018 onwards and the submission period will end on September 29, 2018 at midnight. Artists can submit themselves, or labels, publishers, publicists, managers can submit on behalf and with permission of an artist.

Submissions have to contain biographical material, photographs, three sound samples and one video link that is exemplary for the artist.

Within 6 weeks after the close of the submission period a five-person jury chaired by Mikhail Fridman and made up of internationally renowned artists, high-profile journalists, and industry executives (representing both the creative and marketing aspects of the decision), will gather to select the winner. The European jury included superstar musician Jamie Cullum (UK), GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Brian M. Bacchus (USA), festival programmer Sebastien Vidal (France), and radio journalist Karen Frivik (Norway). The United States & Canada competition jury will be announced this coming July.

In Europe, the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” is a significant event in the continent’s Jazz calendar. 18-year-old guitarist and composer Tom Ibarra was announced as the 2017 award winner and as part of this prize, Tom will embark on a tour of major jazz festivals in Europe in summer 2018, such as the Cheltenham Jazzfestival (Great Britain), Kongsberg Jazzfestival (Norway), JazzOpen Stuttgart (Germany), Nice Jazzfestival (France), Heineken Jazzaldia (Spain), the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia (Italy) and the Leopolis Jazzfestival (Ukraine).

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