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Billysimo: Billy Taylor/ASCAP Commission Winners

In honor of Billy Taylor’s 80th birthday, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced the recipients of the ASCAP/IAJE Commissions honoring Taylor (pictured left).

Jovino Santos Neto of Seattle, Wash., won in the Established Composer category and Jason Goldman of Los Angeles in the Emerging Composer category. The new works, Santos Neto’s “Billysimo” and Goldman’s “Catch Me If You Can,” were premiered at this year’s just-concluded IAJE Conference. The U.S. Air Force Band of the Rockies, conducted by Santos Neto, performed “Billysimo” and the Jason Goldman Nonette performed “Catch Me If You Can.”

The ASCAP/IAJE commissions program, now in its fifth year, awards two cash prizes: the first to an established jazz composer of international prominence, the other to an emerging jazz composer under the age of 35. The commissioned works must be written for ensembles of more than four and less than 18 players.

Jovino Santos Neto is a composer, pianist and recording artist who moved to Seattle from his native Rio de Janeiro in 1993. Santos Neto made his reputation as the longtime pianist and producer for the Brazilian musical giant Hermeto Pascoal. In more recent years, Santos Neto has worked with a wide variety of Brazilian, jazz and world music artists and composers, including Sergio Mendes, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Andy Narell and Chitravina N. Ravikiran. His most recent CD releases are Live in Olympia (Liquid City Records) and a duo collection, Balaio (Malandro), with the guitarist/vocalist Richard Boukas.

Jason Goldman, a composer and pianist, is a recent graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Earlier, he received his undergraduate degree in jazz composition and film scoring at Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Goldman recorded Summa cum Jazz (BMG), which features his performance, compositions and a 16-piece jazz orchestra. Goldman is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Southern California. He has performed with or written for many leading jazz musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry and Jimmy Heath.

Originally Published