The BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, a noted creative forum for musical exploration and development, will highlight the best new jazz compositions created during the last year at its 21st Annual Summer Showcase Concert. The concert is free to the public, and will be held on Friday, June 26 at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th Street) at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece modern repertory ensemble made up of leading New York musicians. Seating is first-come, first-served; doors open at 7:00 p.m.
The evening will also feature a competition to choose the winner of the BMI Foundation’s tenth annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, which will be given to the writer of the best new work composed in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. This year’s judges include noted jazz authority Dan Morgenstern; Secret Society bandleader and composer Darcy J. Argue; and noted jazz drummer and composer Dennis Mackrel.
The winning composer will receive a cash award and a $3,000 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, Jeff Fairbanks, will premiere his commissioned work.
The BMI Jazz Composers Workshop is led by internationally renowned composers Jim McNeely 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; is a six-time Grammy Award nominee; and The New York Times has called his writing “exhilarating”.