NJPAC, JAZZ ROOTS, and WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM
Search for the World's Greatest Female Jazz Singer in the
Newark, New Jersey - (April 2, 2014) The third annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, the only international jazz vocal competition of its kind in the world, launched online yesterday at 5:00PM EST for singers from around the world to compete for the SASSY Award, top honors in and a twenty-first century version of the amateur night at the Apollo Theater that helped launch the career of an aspiring teenager from Newark, Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan, more than seventy years ago. The first two years of the competition saw nearly 1,500 total song submissions and nearly one million votes casts online for contenders from around the globe. In 2014, NJPAC, JAZZ ROOTS, WBGO Jazz88.3FM, the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and Indaba Music are teaming up again to search for the next great jazz female vocalist.
"The Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition is an important event for the people that love our great American art form of jazz singing and for our growing jazz community," said Janis Siegel of The Manhattan Transfer, who was one of the judges in last year's competition. "It brings forth and nurtures true and exceptional talent with recognition and acceptance while honoring the legacy of one of the greatest American singers in history, Sarah 'Sassy' Vaughan."
Beginning on Tuesday, April 1 at 5:00PM EST, female vocalists from around the world can submit applications online at SarahVaughanCompetition.com. Five finalists will be flown to Newark, New Jersey to perform at the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival in NJPAC's Victoria Theater on November 16, 2014 before a panel of judges comprised of some of the leading jazz vocalists today as well as others in the jazz and recording industry. Winners will receive cash prizes of up to $5,000 and the opportunity to perform on JAZZ ROOTS concerts across the country. The competition is open to solo female vocalists of all nationalities who are not signed to a major record label. Singers must submit audio clips online through an interactive platform powered by Indaba Music. The public can vote online to help select the finalists who will be announced on October 10.
Singers will be judged on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation and ability to swing.
In addition to the five finalists, one "Rising Star," who also performs at NJPAC on November 16, will be selected by the judges. The inaugural "Rising Star" awardee, Jazzmeia Horn, came back and won the competition last year.
"I was really impressed with the level of musicianship of all the singers, and most of all, how different everyone was," said Cyrille Aimée, winner of the inaugural SASSY Award, speaking about her fellow contestants. She has gone on to record, travel the world, and recently co-star with Bernadette Peters in Stephen Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis' "A Bed and a Chair" in New York's City Center.
"The SASSY Awards are the highest honor an up and coming female jazz vocalist can achieve today," said Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition producer Larry Rosen. "We search globally to find exceptional talent to present at this competition, and our goal is to help launch careers and find that next great female jazz vocalist who will carry on this unique tradition that was born in America and is celebrated around the planet."
NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber, who presented Vaughan at dozens of jazz festivals through the years, said: "We have seen some tremendous talent in the first two Sarah Vaughan competitions, and NJPAC is proud to partner with JAZZ ROOTS, WBGO and JEN to bring some of the best singers in the world to Newark to continue Sarah's legacy in her hometown."
"Sassy, with a voice touched by the Divine, created a sound that resonated around the world. Now through a competition that bears her name, NJPAC and JAZZ ROOTS present the SASSY AWARD and search the world to find the next 'Divine' one to continue the magic that was Sarah Vaughan," said Jon Hendricks, legendary jazz singer, "father of vocalese," and judge of the competition in its inaugural year.
Sarah Vaughan, the competition's namesake, was born in Newark in 1924 and was known as "Sassy" throughout her life for her vibrant personality. In 1942, after winning the top prize of $10 at the Apollo Theater's amateur night at age eighteen, she went on to become one of the most popular singers in jazz and recorded with Count Basie, Miles Davis and countless others.
Musicians remember Vaughan as "The Divine One" for her exceptional musical gifts, and in 1989 she was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, the nation's top honor for a jazz musician.
"It is inspiring to know that Sarah Vaughan's legendary career started by winning a competition. This collaboration between our friend Larry Rosen and the NJPAC is a wonderful way to provide that same opportunity for today's talented artists," said Andrew Surmani, president of JEN. "We are looking forward to hearing the amazing vocalists who will participate in this year's competition!"
The TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival's title sponsor is TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank.
JAZZ ROOTS - A Larry Rosen Jazz Series is a concert and educational program created for performing arts centers across America. The JAZZ ROOTS series, now celebrating its 5th Anniversary, was first launched in 2008 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, the series debuted in 2009 in Dallas at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, in 2010 in Carmel, IN. at the Center for the Performing Arts, and in 2012 debuts in Las Vegas at the Smith Center, in Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Centre, and in New Jersey at NJPAC, with additional PACs to be announced. Artists presented include: Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Al Jarreau, Keith Jarrett, Bobby McFerrin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Al Di Meola, Ramsey Lewis, Sergio Mendes, Michael Feinstein, Terence Blanchard, David Sanborn, Paquito D'Rivera, John McLaughlin, Patti Austin, Count Basie Orchestra, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Valentin, The Machito Orchestra, Ivan Lins, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Manhattan Transfer, Jon Hendricks, Dave Grusin, Jon Secada, Eddie Palmieri, Michel Camilo, and many more. The JAZZ ROOTS series includes educational and outreach programs that organically connect to local community groups, art centers, and the local board of education. Mr. Rosen, co-founder of GRP Records is the award-winning producer of the PBS TV Series LEGENDS OF JAZZ, producer of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, and is the creator and producer of RECORDING: The History of Recorded Music with hosts, Quincy Jones and Phil Ramone. www.jazzroots.net, www.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)
New Jersey Performing ArtsCenter (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey -- where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey's Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State's and the world's best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over seven million visitors (more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit www.njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.
WBGO Jazz 88.3FM/WBGO.org
Founded in 1979, WBGO (Newark Public Radio, Inc.) is a publicly supported cultural institution that champions jazz at WBGO 88.3 FM in Newark, New Jersey and worldwide via WBGO.org. WBGO is the recognized world leader in jazz radio and one of the most respected jazz presenters in the country, and offers award-winning news and innovative children's programs. Beyond reaching 350,000 weekly listeners (including 17,000 contributing members) on air, online and via mobile devices, WBGO presents live broadcasts from prestigious jazz venues and produces acclaimed programs for NPR heard by millions. www.wbgo.org
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook and on Twitter.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com.
Indaba Media, LLC is an entertainment technology and marketing services company. Established in 2005, the company operates Indaba Music, a musician community and contest platform with over 800,000 independent artists, as well as Indaba Sync, a portal for licensing the best emerging content from the Indaba Music community. Indaba Music pioneered the online music collaboration and community space when it launched in 2007, enabling anyone with internet access to create, edit and mix studio-quality music online. Indaba Music now provides musicians with opportunities ranging from remix contests to sync and licensing opportunities to branded marketing programs. Indaba Music currently boasts musicians from 205 countries and territories. To date, Indaba Music contests have featured artists and brands including Daft Punk, Red Bull, Snoop Dogg, Peter Gabriel, Linkin Park, Yo-Yo Ma, Paul Simon, Foster The People, Bacardi and Usher.
Jazz Education Network
The Jazz Education Network is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences. With a home base in the United States, and members in more than 22 countries, this thriving organization hosts a popular annual conference that serves teachers, students, artists, performing arts presenters, music industry partners, and more. It runs ongoing programs of scholarships for students and educators, student composition showcases, community outreach, virtual workshops, music and instrument donations to schools in need, and mentoring with jazz pros and students.