The third annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, which bills itself as “the only international jazz vocal competition of its kind in the world,” was launched last week. The competition invites singers from around the world to compete for the SASSY Award. The first two years of the competition, according to a press release, “saw nearly 1,500 total song submissions and nearly one million votes casts online for contenders from around the globe.”
The contest is supported this year by NJPAC, JAZZ ROOTS, New Jersey’s WBGO Jazz88.3FM, the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and Indaba Music.
According to a press release, female vocalists from around the world can now submit applications online at Sarah Vaughan Competition. Five finalists will be flown to Newark, N.J., to perform at the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater on November 16, before a panel of judges comprised of leading jazz vocalists as well as others in the jazz and recording industry. Winners will receive cash prizes of up to $5,000 and the opportunity to perform on JAZZ ROOTS concerts across the country. The competition is open to solo female vocalists of all nationalities who are not signed to a major record label. Singers must submit audio clips online through an interactive platform powered by Indaba Music. The public can vote online to help select the finalists who will be announced on October 10.
Singers will be judged on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation and ability to swing.
In addition to the five finalists, one “Rising Star,” who also performs at NJPAC on November 16, will be selected by the judges. The inaugural “Rising Star” awardee, Jazzmeia Horn, came back and won the competition last year.