Submissions now open for the National Jazz Awards

WJF-Kristin-BerardiPresented as part of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, submissions now open for Australia’s prestigious National Jazz Awards, with this year, focussing on the voice.

“This year has been a time of great uncertainty for festivals, artists, and the Creative Industries as a whole,” said Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues Chair, Dave Fuller.

“Under these circumstances, we are particularly pleased to move ahead with the delivery of the National Jazz Awards. This is a great opportunity for the many talented vocal musicians across the country to take part in these nationally renowned Awards,” he said.

Over three decades, the Awards have played an important role in developing, showcasing, and nurturing Australian talent. Many past winners and finalists have gone on to achieve both national and international acclaim. Each year the focus is on a different instrument – piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, brass, drums, or vocals.

In 2012 vocalist Kristin Berardi took out first prize. Previous winners include Alex Hirlian (drums), James Macauley (Brass), Sam Anning (Bass), Carl Morgan (Guitar), Zac Hurren (Brass), Phil Stack (Bass), Julien Wilson (Brass), Scott Tinkler (Brass), Michelle Nicolle (Vocals) and Barney McAll (Piano).

The 2020 National Jazz Award semi-finals and finals will be held in Wangaratta on the weekend of 30 October – 1 November 2020. They will be conducted in strict accordance with COVID19 restrictions in place at the time and a full COVID Safe Plan will be implemented with the safety of all participants at the forefront.

As audience attendance restrictions are likely to be in place, but as yet are unknown at this stage, the Awards heats and finals will be live-streamed so that all interested audiences can enjoy the performances.

Mr Fuller said the prize pool has reduced as the philanthropic support that was previously in place has concluded, however further philanthropic support is being sought. The prizes for the Awards are as follows: 1st prize – $7,000 and a recording session with Pughouse Studios; 2nd prize – $4,000; and 3rd prize – $2,000.

“The Awards have a strong reputation and are highly regarded regionally, nationally and internationally,” continued Mr Fuller. “They are often a key launching pad in artists’ musical careers.”

“2020 marks the 30th anniversary for Wangaratta Festival. With the situation ever-changing in a COVID environment we are reviewing all possible options to deliver the festival to provide something positive for the Jazz community – both artists and audiences – to look forward to” he said.

High-level Australian vocalists aged 36 or younger are invited to submit their application by Monday 31 August 2020. For more information, including entry guidelines and how to apply, visit: for details.

Image: Kristin Berardi (supplied)