The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced the opening of the 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The search is on for the next great jazz singer! Solo vocalists from around the world are encouraged to submit their entries before September 5, 2023, by visiting SarahVaughanCompetition.com. In the Fall 2023, the Top Five Finalists will be announced followed by a star-studded final performance on the iconic NJPAC stage.
The Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, also known as “The SASSY Awards”, is open to singers over the age of 18, of all genders and nationalities, from anywhere in the world, and not signed by a major label. Entrants are judged on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation, and ability to swing.
On November 19, 2023, the finalists will compete at NJPAC in front of a live audience and before a distinguished panel of judges including Grammy and TONY Award-winning jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux, acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright, NJPAC’s Jazz Advisor and multi-Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride, and three-time Grammy Award-winning producer and executive vice president of Mack Avenue Records Al Pryor. Hosted by WBGO Radio’s Pat Prescott, this special event will also include performances by the 2021 winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition G. Thomas Allen. The first-prize winner of The SASSY Awards will receive a $5,000 cash award, second-place $1,500, and third-place $500.
The competition recalls the humble beginnings of legendary jazz singer/NEA Jazz Master Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) who, back in 1942, was a Newark teenager and winner of an amateur singing contest at the Apollo Theater. That memorable night helped launch the lifework of one of the most successful, influential jazz vocalists in the history of American music. Past winners include Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn,Ashleigh Smith, Arianna Neikrug, Deelee Dubé, Quiana Lynell, Laurin Talese, Samara Joy (Grammy winner for Best New Artist 2023), Gabrielle Cavassa and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, G. Thomas Allen, and Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso. What has become one of the top annual vocal competitions in jazz, The SASSY Awards offers outstanding jazz singers a one-of-a-kind platform for embarking on a career in the music business-and offers audience members a chance to discover the jazz stars of tomorrow. Gifted young contestants from around the world are evaluated on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation, and ability to swing. For more information about The SASSY Awards, visit SarahVaughanCompetition.com.
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The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.
Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has served more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.9 million students and families) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. www.NJPAC.org