(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced the opening of the 11th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The search is on for the next great jazz singer! Solo vocalists from around the world are encouraged to submit their entries before September 6, 2022, by visiting SarahVaughanCompetition.com. In the Fall 2022, the Top Five Finalists will be announced followed by a star-studded final performance on the iconic NJPAC stage.
The Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, also known as “The SASSY Awards”, is open to singers over the age of 18, of all genders and nationalities, from anywhere in the world, and not signed by a major label. Entrants are judged on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation, and ability to swing.
On November 20, 2022, the finalists will compete at NJPAC in front of a live audience and before a distinguished panel of judges, including premier jazz violinist Regina Carter, NJPAC’s Jazz Advisor and multi-Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride, drummer T.S. Monk (Thelonious Monk, Jr.), NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider, and WBGO Radio personality Pat Prescott. Hosted by WBGO Radio’s Gary Walker, this special event will also include performances by the 2021 co-winners of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim and Gabrielle Cavassa, and more to be announced soon. The first-prize winner of The SASSY Awards will receive a $5,000 cash award, second-place $1,500, and third-place $500.
The competition recalls the humble beginnings of legendary jazz singer/NEA Jazz Master Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) who, back in 1942, was a Newark teenager and winner of an amateur singing contest at the Apollo Theater. That memorable night helped launch the lifework of one of the most successful, influential jazz vocalists in the history of American music. Past winners include Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn,Ashleigh Smith, Arianna Neikrug, Deelee Dubé, Quiana Lynell, Laurin Talese, Samara Joy, Gabrielle Cavassa and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, and G. Thomas Allen. What has become one of the top annual vocal competitions in jazz, The SASSY Awards offers outstanding jazz singers a one-of-a-kind platform for embarking on a career in the music business—and offers audience members a chance to discover the jazz stars of tomorrow. Gifted young contestants from around the world are evaluated on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation, and ability to swing.
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The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located at One Center Street in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.
Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has served more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.9 million students and families) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.