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Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards Winners Announced

The 20 finalists for 2021 receive cash prizes, and one lucky winner still to be named will be featured at this year's Newport Jazz Festival

Herb Alpert (photo by Joel A. Siegel)
Herb Alpert (photo: Joel A. Siegel)

Twenty composers under the age of 30 have won the ASCAP Foundation’s Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards for 2021, ASCAP announced on March 8. The award, named for pop-jazz trumpet legend Herb Alpert, carries with it a cash prize, and one recipient (to be named later) will be featured at the 2021 Newport Jazz Festival.

Contestants for the Herb Alpert Award were required to submit both a written score and a sound recording of an original composition. Submissions were then judged by a panel of jazz composers, this year comprising Ambrose Akinmusire, Wycliffe Gordon, and Jihye Lee.

The 2021 winners and honorable mentions are below.


Clint Bleil, 26 – Pittsburgh, PA
Andy Clausen, 28 – Brooklyn, NY
Stratøs (Eddie Codrington), 24 – Kalamazoo, MI
Michael Echaniz, 26 – Oakland, CA
Eliana Fishbeyn, 25 – New York, NY
Ariel Sha Glassman,  24 – Denton, TX
Philip Ryan Goss,  28 – Brookline, MA
Jon Hatamiya, 29 – Sacramento, CA
Joseph Herbst, 25 – Easley, SC
Chase Kuesel, 27 – Brooklyn, NY
Aditi Malhotra, 23 – Boston, MA
Luca Mendoza, 22 – Los Angeles, CA
Lesley Mok, 26 – Brooklyn, NY
Yu Nishiyama, 26 – Hawthorne, NJ
Zach Rich, 27 – Greeley, CO
Yoko Suzuki, 26 – Yokohama, Japan
Gary (Kaiji) Wang, 25 – Rochester, NY
Alex Weitz, 30 – New York, NY
Matt Wong, 22 – New York, NY
Courtney Wright, 26 – New York, NY

Honorable Mentions: 

Henry Godfrey, 24 – Jamaica Plain, MA
Oliver Mann, 17 – California
Daiki Nakajima, 18 – San Jose, CA
Hunter McKay, 24 – Boston, MA
Yuma Uesaka, 30 – Brooklyn, NY
Andrew Watkins Alcocer, 24 – Rochester, NY

For more information on the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards, visit the ASCAP Foundation’s website.