The evening will also announce the winner of the BMI Foundation's seventh annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, given to the writer of the best new work composed in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. This year's judges include jazz virtuosos Robin Eubanks and Joe Lovano, and noted jazz authority Dan Morgenstern.
The winning composer will receive a cash award and the $3000 Manny Albam Commission to compose a new piece for the following year's concert. Named in memory of the Workshop's co-founder and longtime musical director, last year's Manny Albam Commission winner, Sherisse Rogers, will premiere her commissioned work during the showcase.
The BMI Jazz Composers Workshop is led by internationally renowned composers Jim McNeely and Michael Abene, and offers a unique collaborative environment for professional jazz musicians with an emphasis on composition for the large jazz (big band) ensemble. The Workshop - a well-known forum for creative excellence - provides an environment where composers are free to explore new avenues in the creative process, while at the same time honing their skills. McNeely has performed with and written for Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, among others, and is a six-time Grammy Award nominee. Abene is the Dean of the Manhattan School of Music, and has composed and arranged for Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Chick Corea and others; he is also a well-known record producer.
BMI's impressive roster of jazz artists includes such legends as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton and Charles Mingus, as well as today's new jazz stars like Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, Kevin Eubanks, Joshua Redman, Mark Whitfield and Bobby Watson.
The BMI Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 to support the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, commissions and grants. Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation come primarily from songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI employees and members of the public with a special interest in music. Because both the Foundation staff and the distinguished members of the Advisory Panel serve without compensation, over 95% of all donations and income are used for charitable grants.