Call for Jazz Commissions

Call for Jazz Commissions

Deadline: December 27, 2019

Applications are now being accepted for the 19th annual Utah Arts Festival Jazz Commission for Big Band, to premiere at the 2020 Utah Arts Festival, performed by the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra.

The Utah Arts Festival Jazz Composer Commission was developed to seek jazz composers residing in Utah with an individual voice, and with the ability to compose a 5-7 minute work for jazz big band, either in contemporary or traditional style. The purpose of the commission is to provide Festival patrons with a unique work that is an outgrowth of the community and to support local jazz artists.

The commissioned work will be a work for one standard big band (4 or 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxes, guitar, piano, bass, and drums). The award is $1,500 (which includes all artistic fees).

2020 Deadlines & Important Dates

  • Friday, December 27, 2019: Application due no later than 5:00 PM
  • Friday, January 17: All participants will be notified of the winner
  • June 25-28: 2020 Utah Arts Festival

Application for Jazz Commission for Big Band

This commissioning application is open to all legal residents currently living in Utah. Past winners will be eligible to apply again if it has been at least five years since they received the award. Applications may be mailed or sent electronically with attachments.  All submissions will be reviewed by a jury of jazz composers, administrators and musicians. We request use of a Pseudonym with your application to ensure any bias in the jurying process.

Download and Complete Application

Past Recipients

  • 2003 Dave Chisholm, Lyle Durand
  • 2004 Brian Booth – Slick Joe
  • 2005 Larry Smith*
  • 2006 Lars Yorgason* – 78
  • 2007 Bob Bailey* – M/ue 
  • 2008 Melanie Shore, Courtney Smith – Mercury Songbirds
  • 2009 Steve Lindeman, Jay Lawrence
  • 2010 Shannon Roberts, Joe Chisholm
  • 2011 David Featherstone – Recall
  • 2012 Henry Wolking – Time Passing Time
  • 2012 Neil Weight*
  • 2013 Russell Schmidt – Patience
  • 2014 Patrick Buie – Jura
  • 2015 Jonathan Campbell – And Then There’s That
  • 2016 Kris Johnson – A Shift West
  • 2017 Dr. Alex Heitlinger – For Patrick
  • 2018 Melanie Shore –  As the Seasons Shift
  • 2019 Jay Lawrence – Salt Flats and Sharps

*Jazz Master Award Recipient

The Show

The 44th annual Utah Arts Festival is scheduled for June 25 – 28, 2020 at Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City. More than 170 visual artists from across the country are juried in to participate in our Artist Marketplace. The Utah Arts Festival is the largest, outdoor, multi-disciplined event held in Utah. Having garnered numerous awards internationally, nationally and locally, the Festival remains one of the premiere events that kicks off the summer in Utah each June. More than 60,000 patrons enjoy four days of award-winning fine arts in the Artist Marketplace, live performances on five stages, street theater, fine arts exhibition, a film program, children's art and culinary arts.