BMI’s 31st annual Jazz Composers Workshop concert, held at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater in New York City on June 12, featured the best new big band and jazz orchestra compositions created in the workshop during the 2018-2019 session. The evening was hosted by musical director Andy Farber and judged by a panel of esteemed jazz musicians and composers including Sherman Irby, Mitchell Farber and 2009 Charlie Parker Prize winner Sara Jocavino.
The BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra performed nine works, including Michael Thomas’s “Green Light,” Meg Okura’s “Jewberish Folk Songs,” Todd Anderson’s “Doom,” Tracy Yang’s “Melting Arctic,” Ann Belmont’s “Sway and Forget,” Dan Pugach’s “Bianca,” Jinmi Kim’s “Lost in a Moment,” Matt Horanzy’s “Opportunity” and Elijah Shiffer’s “Beware of This and That.” After all the wonderful performances were over, Dan Pugach’s “Bianca” was chosen as the winning piece by the judges. In addition to receiving the prestigious Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, Pugach was also awarded the $3,000 Manny Albam commission—named in memory of the Workshop’s late founder and longtime music director—to compose a new piece that will premiere at next year’s showcase.
The evening concluded with last year’s prize recipient, Jihye Lee, debuting her commissioned composition, “Revived Mind.”