2022 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Winners Announced

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2022 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. The recipients, who receive cash awards, are selected through a juried national competition. All in all, 21 composers were awarded and an additional 6 received honorable mention.

Written By

Frank J. Oteri

Frank J. Oteri is an ASCAP-award winning composer and music journalist. Among his compositions are Already Yesterday or Still Tomorrow for orchestra, the "performance oratorio" MACHUNAS, the 1/4-tone sax quartet Fair and Balanced?, and the 1/6-tone rock band suite Imagined Overtures. His compositions are represented by Black Tea Music. Oteri is the Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and is Composer Advocate at New Music USA where he has been the Editor of its web magazine, NewMusicBox.org, since its founding in 1999.

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2022 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. The recipients, who receive cash awards, are selected through a juried national competition. All in all, 21 composers were awarded and an additional 6 received honorable mention. Through a partnership with the Newport Festivals Foundation, one of this year’s Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards recipients will be featured by the Newport Jazz Festival.

A montage of photos of all the winners and honorable mentions in the 2022 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Awards

Photos of all the 2022 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Recipients and Honorable Mentions. Top row pictured from left to right: Evan Abounassar, Ben Beckman, Sonya Belaya, Max Bessesen, Gabriel Chakarji, Jessica Curran, Sebastian de Urquiza;
Second row pictured from left to right: Michael R. Dudley Jr., Joseph Durben, Quinn Dymalski, Conner Eisenmenger, Eliana Fishbeyn, Kira Daglio Fine, Brandon Goldberg;
Third row pictured from left to right: Vicente Hansen, Ennis Suavengco Harris, Daiki Nakajima, Yu Nishiyama, Robert Perez, Gary (Kaiji) Wang, and Griffin Woodard;
Last row pictured from left to right: Claire Dickson, Michael Echaniz, Amanda Ekery, Chase Elodia, Peyton Nelesen, and Malcolm Xiellie.

Below is a complete list of the 2022 Recipients along with information about their award-winning compositions which, where possible, are linked to sites where you can hear them.

Evan Abounassar (b. 1999 in Yorba Linda, CA and currently still based there):
Nischala (Unwavering) for trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano, synthesizer, bass, and drum set [4’10”];

Benjamin Beckman (b. 2000 in Los Angeles CA; now based in New Haven CT): Voyage for jazz combo [46′];

Sonya Belaya (b. 1994 in Russia; now based in Brooklyn, NY):
sympathetic, nervous, ladder for piano, string quartet, drums/percussion, tenor saxophone, and guitar [8’52”];

Max Bessesen (b. 1994 in Denver, CO; now based in NYC):
Bakkam for alto saxophone, piano, acoustic bass, and drum set [7’20];

Gabriel Chakarji (b. 1993 in Caracas, Venezuela; now based in Brooklyn, NY):
Voices for full orchestra [4’31”];

Jessica Curran (b. 1993 in Sandwich, MA; now based in Boston, MA):
Returning for voice, guitar, piano, bass, and drums [5’25”];

Kira Daglio Fine (b. 1996 in Boston, MA and still based there):
The Towers for big band [6’19”];

Michael R. Dudley Jr. (b. 1994 in Cincinnati, OH; now based in Potsdam, NY):
Overture to The Before And After Times (“Tendrils”) for big band [8’11”];

Joseph Durben (b. 2004 in Buffalo, MN and still based there):
Tachyon for jazz big band with 2 flutes [10’27”];

Quinn Dymalski (b. 1998 in Park City, UT; currently based in Los Angeles, CA):
Buried for big band [5’43”];

Conner Eisenmenger (b. 1992 in Louisville, KY; currently in Seattle, WA):
Choice Paralysis for trombone, tenor saxophone, piano, acoustic bass, and drum set [4’26”];

Eliana Fishbeyn (b. 1996 Chapel Hill, NC; now based in NYC):
Unknown Knowns for big band [7’12”];

Brandon Goldberg (b. 2006 in Florida and still based there):
Authority for trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass, and drums [7’04”];

Vicente Hansen (b. 1992 in Santiago, Chile; now in Brooklyn, NY):
Reptilian for piano, bass, and drums [6’32”];

Ennis Suavengco Harris (b. 1998 in Exeter, CA; now in Los Angeles, CA):
Portrait Poem for chamber orchestra plus jazz septet [8’06”];

Daiki Nakajima (b. 2002 in Tokyo, Japan; now based in San Jose, CA):
Nostalgic Already for big band [7’54”];

Yu Nishiyama (b. 1994 in Yokohama, Japan; now based in Hawthorne, NJ):
Retrospections for 17-piece big band [10′];

Robert A. Perez (b. 1993 in Chino Hills, CA; now in Los Angeles, CA):
The Flowers Bloom for organ and piano [10’46”];

Sebastián de Urquiza (b. 1992 in Boston, MA; now in NYC):
The Ordeal (Suite) for trumpet, alto and tenor sax, trombone, guitar, piano, piano synth, double bass, drums, and vocals [40’20”];

Gary (Kaiji) Wang (b. 1996 in Miami, FL and still based there):
Souvenir for 13-piece big band [11’26”];

Griffin Woodard (b. 1998 in Bethlehem, PA; now based in Boston, MA):
Kyrie for big band [6’43”].

Composers receiving Honorable Mention this year are:

Claire Dickson (b. 1997 Medford, MA; now in Brooklyn, NY):
Thrill of Still for voice, trumpet, electronic drums, synths, bells and other found percussion [2’47”];

Michael Echaniz (b. 1994 in Oakland, CA; now in Los Angeles, CA):
Clockwork (Un Carillon De Musique, Dans La Fumeé Poétique) for tubular bells, 2 violins, 4 female vocal layers (soprano), electric piano, B3 organ, piano, double bass, and drum set [12’25”];

Amanda Ekery (b. 1994 in El Paso, TX; now in NYC):
Three Days for voice, viola, alto sax, oud, piano, bass, and percussion [4’13”];

Chase Elodia (b. 1994 in Norwalk, CT; now in Brooklyn, NY):
Portrait Imperfect for voice, EWI, keyboard, electric bass, and drums [5’46”];

Peyton Nelesen (b. 2007 in Chicago IL; currently based in California):
Wouldn’t You Like to Know? for big band with a second piano and a guitar [8’44”];

Malcolm Xiellie (b. 2007 in California and still based there):
Tribute to George for solo piano [8’18”].

The ASCAP composer/judges for the 2022 competition were: Fabian Almazan, Chuck Owen and Camille Thurman. Established in 2002, the program recognizes gifted young jazz composers up to the age of 30. It carries the name of composer, trumpeter, arranger, and bandleader Herb Alpert in recognition of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to the program. Additional funding for the program is provided by The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund.