Applications now open for 2021 Young Composers Awards with mentoring, bursary funds and an album release on offer

Mike Flynn
Thursday, June 17, 2021

Following a very difficult year for musicians, Jazzlife Alliance is offering the chance of some much-needed help to young musicians through its new talent prize

Django Bates - photo by NIck White
Django Bates - photo by NIck White

Jazzlife Alliance, the Northern Ireland-based talent development agency, is offering two young composer mentorships funded by the PRS Foundation, with an open call for applications now running until the deadline of 9 July 2021

A UK jazz composer aged 18-24 will be selected who will then be mentored by revered British pianist and composer Django Bates, and also receive a £500 bursary and the chance to premiere their work at the Out To Lunch Festival in Belfast in January 2022. A live recording of the concert will be released in 2022 by Lyte Records, which has released albums by Jason Rebello, Jean Toussaint, David Lyttle and Ari Hoenig. A promising composer under the age of 18 from Northern Ireland with interest or existing experience in jazz will also be selected. This young person will work with Jazzlife Alliance artistic director and MOBO Award nominated drummer David Lyttle.

Django Bates, currently a professor of jazz at Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland, is widely regarded as one of the world's most adventurous and innovative composers and one of the UK's most prestigious and admired musical exports. A founding member of Loose Tubes he was a leading light in the 1980s European jazz renaissance. He’s also worked with The Brodsky Quartet, Joanna MacGregor, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Duisburg Philharmonic who have all commissioned new works from Bates. As an internationally respected musician he has appeared alongside Bill Bruford, Dudu Pukwana, Sidsel Endresen, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Evan Parker, Ronnie Scott, while In 1997 Django was awarded the prestigious Danish Jazzpar prize, dubbed the ‘Nobel Prize of Jazz’.

In 2019 The IVORS Academy honoured Bates with The Ivors Jazz Award. A musical polymath and prodigiously gifted composer, Bates has been at the heart of Britain’s jazz scene for the last 40 years. The award acknowledged his unique and exceptional talent and his relentless drive to collaborate and seek out new possibilities to explore where jazz can go.

Drummer, composer and producer David Lyttle is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed musical artists. He has worked with some of jazz’s most respected figures, from Joe Lovano to Kurt Rosenwinkel to Cleveland Watkiss, and crossed over into new musical territories through collaborations with the likes of Liam Neeson and Talib Kweli. He has performed in over 25 countries and carried out artist residencies in China, as the British Council’s Musician-In-Residence, and the U.S., where he travelled coast to coast performing for cowboys, bikers and UFO tourists. In 2015 he was nominated for the MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act and an Urban Music Award.

To be considered for either of these opportunities, please send a paragraph about yourself, including your age and region, and two links to your work to join@jazzlifealliance.org and for more info visit www.jazzlifealliance.org

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