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BMI Hosts Annual Composers Showcase Concert

The BMI Jazz Composers Workshop will host its annual showcase concert this Thursday in New York to premiere the best jazz composition created during the past year. The highlight this year, as every year, is the announcement of the Sixth Annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize.

Each year, the award – named for the workshop’s co-founder and longtime musical director – is awarded to the writer of the best new work composed in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. The winner will receive a cash award and the $3,000 Manny Albam Commission to compose a new piece for the following year’s concert. Previous winners include Rufus Reid, Jamie Begian, Noriko Ueda and last year’s winner, Darcy Argue, who will premiere his commissioned piece, “Desolation Sound,” at Thursday’s showcase.

The judges for this year’s composition price were Dan Morgenstern, jazz historian and director of the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University; trumpeter, composer and bandleader Dave Douglas; and Grammy-award winning composer, arranger and bandleader Maria Schneider. This year’s winner will be chosen from the three previously chosen finalists: Sherisse Rogers (“The Slippery Slope”); Ann Belmont (“Home [As Night Falls]”); and Volker Goetze (“Tree”).

The BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, now in its second decade, is led by Jim McNeely and Michael Abene and offers professional musicians the chance to develop their composition skills in a collaborative setting, with an emphasis on work for the large jazz ensemble.

The showcase concert is free and will be held at Merkin Concert Hall (Abraham Goodman House, 129 West 67th St.) at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The evening will also feature the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, a 16-piece modern repertory ensemble comprised of leading Workshop members.

Originally Published