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Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Announces Commissioning Prize Competition

Winner receives $5,000 and a commission to write piece for SJO

George Duke, late co-director of the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra
George Duke (photo: Scott Fugate)

The Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) has announced its seventh annual ASCAP Foundation/SJO Commissioning Prize competition, honoring its former co-music director, the late keyboardist, composer, producer, and educator George Duke (1946-2013). The winning composer will be commissioned to write a new orchestral score for the SJO. Created in 2002, the 68-member SJO is led by music director Mitch Glickman and blends jazz and classical music through its commissioning, performing, and educational programs. Among the guest artists who have performed with the SJO over the years are Dave Grusin, Christian McBride, Raul Midón, the Yellowjackets, and Chris Brubeck.

Open to all direct ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) composer members, the competition offers a $5,000 prize, and the commissioned work will be premiered by the SJO in 2022 or 2023. Past winners include Scott Routenberg, G. Patrick Gandy, Remy Le Boeuf, and Jihye Lee. The submission deadline for this year’s competition is August 16. For eligibility and details how to apply for the prize, go to the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra website at SJOmusic.org or call 310-876-8130.

The ASCAP Foundation/SJO Commissioning Prize is made possible in part by a grant from the ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Fund and the SJO’s Commissioning Club.