Next Jazz Legacy
Next Jazz Legacy is a new national apprenticeship program for women and non-binary improvisers in jazz, with the intersection of gender and race as a guiding principle.
New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice have announced the launch of Next Jazz Legacy, a new program focused on increasing opportunities for women and non-binary improvisers who are underrepresented in the art form. According to a study of the NPR Music Jazz Critics poll, women made up only 16% of the core band personnel for the albums in the 2019 poll, and the majority of jazz albums ranked included no women musicians at all. Next Jazz Legacy will address these statistics by supporting early-career-stage artists whose access to resources has been limited. By offering creative and professional experience through long-term apprenticeships, financial support and promotion, Next Jazz Legacy aims to inspire change that will benefit everyone in the jazz community. Thanks to funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this program represents a major investment in 20 artists and band leaders over the next 3 years.
The inaugural class of Next Jazz Legacy artists will include six candidates chosen by an esteemed panel of musicians, chaired by Terri Lyne Carrington, with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles. The overall direction of the program is being shaped by New Music USA and Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, with guidance from the advisory board, and in alignment with The Andrew W Mellon Foundation’s current priorities and values.
Candidates must be U.S. residents, fully vaccinated, and not enrolled in an academic institution during the duration of the program from January 2022 to December 2022 or contracted with a third party recording company. Selected artists will be announced in January 2022.
Next Jazz Legacy is a partnership between New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice with major funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support from Next Jazz Legacy donors Joseph A. and Nancy Meli Walker.
What Next Jazz Legacy offers:
The Next Jazz Legacy program combines individual and group learning opportunities with financial support and promotion. Our focus is emerging artists who are at a pivotal stage in the early phase of their career as a professional artist. From 2021-2023 we will support 6 artists per year with a comprehensive package of support that is designed to have deep impact on each participant’s career. Each participant will benefit from the following activities:
- Apprenticeship: a one-year apprenticeship – learning by doing – with the stewardship of a master band leader of any gender
- Artistic and skills-based Mentorship: knowledge, guidance, and mutual exchange between one generation and the next, from both artists and industry professionals
- Learning Cohort Sessions (4 per cycle): opportunity for participants to learn together, exchange ideas and build a professional network under the guidance of Terri Lyne Carrington and with input from guest speakers
- Online learning course provided by the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice
- Empowerment and Promotion: experience for participants to present and communicate about their music via the Next Jazz Legacy podcast, short films, and showcases developed in collaboration with partner presenters
- Financial investment: one $10k grant per apprentice, which enables participants to invest in the next stages of their career. Once selected, participants will be asked to propose how they would use their grant to cover specific costs that would contribute to their career development. This will be signed off by the NJL project team. Participants can consult with their business mentor for advice on best usage of funds.
Next Jazz Legacy seeks to support emerging artists whose access to resources and learning has been the most limited, including but not limited to, women of color and non-binary improvisers. This contributes to the jazz community as a whole by making it more accessible to a broader range of untapped artists and audiences and, longer term, increasing the quality of the music itself.
Artists applying to this program must be:
- A woman or non-binary improviser in jazz
- An emerging artist with substantial professional experience
- 21-32 years old (Please see FAQs)
- Someone whose access to resources has been limited, including people with disabilities
- Based in the US or a US territory
- Available for full participation in the program between January 2022 and December 2022
- Fully vaccinated
At this time, this program will not consider supporting artists that are:
- Enrolled in or plan to be enrolled in an academic institution during the duration of the program from January 2022 to December 2022
- Based outside of the US
- Not able to demonstrate their need for this program
COVID-19 Safety Protocols: To create the safest environment possible for our program participants and to comply with the regulations of many live venues, we require everyone participating to be fully vaccinated by the start of this program. We will also expect all participants to comply with any regular testing protocols.
Application Launch: Monday, November 1, 2021 at 9:00AM (EDT)
Application deadline: Monday, November 29, 2021 at 11:59PM (EDT)
Decisions issued: The week of January 10, 2022*
The learning program will start in January 2022.
* The original date of December 21, 2021 has been changed as we are experiencing a timeline delay due to the number of outstanding applications received. We will now be announcing the selected participants by the second week of January. Sorry for the inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our Program Manager Lolivone de la Rosa at email@example.com
1. Performance Videos: Please submit (3) video performances (max 10 mins) featuring you in an ensemble setting. Please include original composition(s) or an arrangement(s) (max 10 mins).
2. Personal Statement
The application form can be completed by submitting a video (max 4 mins) or uploading a written response (max 500 words) in a PDF format. You are not required to submit a video response, but you must please choose one of these approaches as our advisors won’t have time to look at both. You may provide links to YouTube or Vimeo or upload an .mp4, .mov, or .avi file if submitting a video. Please cover the following questions:
- Tell us about your music and how you are seeking to grow as an artist
- Why is this program important to you right now? Please consider the different opportunities the program is offering (e.g, apprenticeship, mentoring and being part of a cohort). Please also tell us about the barriers you’ve faced until now.
- How would you gain from and contribute to the peer learning cohorts?
Applications will first be screened for eligibility and completeness and then moved to a peer review process. Submissions will be judged by a panel of independent artists and experts chaired by Terri Lyne Carrington. All applications will be judged equally on:
- Artistry (creativity, interpretative skills), musicianship (technique, rhythmic interpretation, improvisation), and composing/arranging skills, as demonstrated through the submitted work samples
- Potential impact the program will make toward the next steps in your career.
Please see FAQs here.
Any questions should be addressed to our Program Manager Lolivone de la Rosa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why This Program Is Needed
According to an analysis of NPR’s 2019 Jazz Critics poll…
Next Jazz Legacy amplifies and addresses the need for all the masters of jazz to contribute to (and understand the need for) a more equitable jazz future. The people that have benefitted the most from patriarchal structures are precisely the ones that need to help us address the problem. Otherwise, they are modelling - and sometimes teaching - how to replicate systems of oppression in our field.
- Terri Lyne Carrington (Chair)
Next Jazz Legacy Advisory Board
Artistic Director, BIJGJ
VP Brand, Sales, Marketing, Jazz at Lincoln Center
FestivalWest, Inc., Los Angeles, New Orleans
Vocalist and educator
Pianist & Composer/Associate Director of Creative Development, BIJGJ
Director of Hip Hop Culture & Contemporary Music, The Kennedy Center
Executive Director, Little Black Pearl Art and Design Academy
Trumpeter, bandleader, composer and educator
Producer at NPR
President & CEO, New Music USA
New York Winter Jazz Festival
Jazz pianist & composer
Managing Director, Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice
Press & Media Links
Next Jazz Legacy is a partnership between New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Next Jazz Legacy extends their gratitude to Joseph A. and Nancy Meli Walker for their generosity.