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Soweto Kinch Wins White Foundation Competition

Since 1999, when the Monk Competition stopped handing out recording contracts to its winners, up and coming jazz musicians have had their ears perked up, looking for new competitions where they can score a contract. One such musician is Soweto Kinch (pictured), who not only found such a competition but cashed in as well.

Kinch was recently named the winner of the first White Foundation International Saxophone Competition, which was held from July 16 to 19 at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and among his prizes was a recording deal. The competition, which was the creation of White Foundation president Jeremy White, had 60 entrants from 17 different countries, including the U.S., England, Germany, Russia, France, Switzerland and Australia. Judges for the event included saxophonist Lee Konitz, BBC 3 radio host and London Times Jazz Critic Alyn Shipton, Jazz Messengers alum and Guildhall School of Music saxophone professor Jean Toussaint, and Radio Swiss Romand Jazz broadcaster Yvan Ischer. Guest judges included David Sanborn and Kirk Whalum.

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