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Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition at NJPAC open for submissions

Sarah Vaughan got her big break at a vocal competition
Sarah Vaughan got her big break at a vocal competition

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced that the 13th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition is open for submissions. In order to be eligible to compete in what’s familiarly known as the SASSY Awards, vocalists must submit their entries before September 3, 2024. The competition is open to singers over the age of 18, of all genders and nationalities, and not signed by a major label. According to the press release received by WBGO, entrants are judged on “vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation, and ability to swing.”

The panel of judges for the 2024 competition, to be held November 24, 2024 at NJPAC, features Terri Lyne Carrington, Bill Charlap, Lisa Fischer, Christian McBride and Madeleine Peyroux. WBGO’s Sheila Anderson, AKA the Queen of the Hang, will host the event that also includes a performance by Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso, the 2022 Competition winner. The first-prize winner receives a $5,000 cash award, second-place $1,500 and third-place $500.

Past winners include Cyrille AiméeJazzmeia Horn, Ashleigh SmithArianna Neikrug, Deelee Dubé, Quiana Lynell, Laurin TaleseSamara Joy, Gabrielle Cavassa and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, G. Thomas Allen, Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso and, most recently, Tyreek McDole.

For more information about The SASSY Awards, visit SarahVaughanCompetition.com.

For over 27 years, Lee Mergner served as an editor and publisher of JazzTimes until his resignation in January 2018. Thereafter, Mergner continued to regularly contribute features, profiles and interviews to the publication as a contributing editor for the next 4+ years. JazzTimes, which has won numerous ASCAP-Deems Taylor awards for music journalism, was founded in 1970 and was described by the All Music Guide, as “arguably the finest jazz magazine in the world.”