Dan Pugach Wins the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize

BMI's 31st annual Jazz Composers Workshop took place on June 12

(L-R) at the 31st Annual Jazz Composers Workshop Summer Showcase concert are BMI’s Senior Director of Jazz and Musical Theater, Pat Cook; Jazz Composers Workshop Musical Director, Andy Farber; 2019 Charlie Parker Prize winner, Dan Pugach and the workshop’s Associate Musical Director, Alan Ferber. (photo courtesy: BMI)

BMI’s 31st annual Jazz Composers Workshop concert ended with Dan Pugach’s “Bianaca” earning the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize.

Held at The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater in New York City on June 12, the concert featured the best new big band and jazz orchestra compositions created in the workshop during the 2018-2019 season.

Pugach was also awarded the $3,000 Manny Albam commission—named in memory of the workshop’s late founder and longtime music director—to compose a new piece that will premiere at next year’s showcase.
Musical director Andy Farber hosted the evening and judges included jazz musicians and composers Sherman Irby, Mitchell Farber and 2009 Charlie Parker Prize winner Sara Jocavino.

The BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra performed nine works, including: Michael Thomas’s “Green Light,” Meg Okura’s “Jewberish Folk Songs,” Todd Anderson’s “Doom,” Tracy Yang’s “Melting Arctic,” Ann Belmont’s “Sway and Forget,” Dan Pugach’s “Bianca,” Jinmi Kim’s “Lost in a Moment,” Matt Horanzy’s “Opportunity” and Elijah Shiffer’s “Beware of This and That.”

The evening concluded with last year’s prize recipient, Jihye Lee, debuting her commissioned composition, “Revived Mind.”

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