NJA 2020: The Year of the Vocalist

Submissions now open for Australia’s prestigious National Jazz Awards

2020 is the year of the vocalist

Organised as part of the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, each year the National Jazz Awards focus on a different instrument.
In 2020, the focus is on voice.
“This year has been a time of great uncertainty for festivals, artists, and the Creative Industries as a whole,” Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues Chair, Dave Fuller said.
“Under these circumstances, we are particularly pleased to move ahead with the delivery of the National Jazz Awards”, he said.
“This is a great opportunity for the many talented vocal musicians across the country to take part in these nationally renowned Awards”.
High-level Australian vocalists aged 36 or younger are invited to submit their application by August 31.
Full details of the Awards and how to enter are available on the Festival website.
Over three decades, the Awards have played an important role in developing, showcasing, and nurturing Australian talent. Many past winners and finalists have gone on to achieve both national and international acclaim.
Each year the focus is on a different instrument- piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, brass, drums, or vocals.
In 2012 vocalist Kristin Berardi took out first prize.
Previous winners include Alex Hirlian (drums), James Macauley (Brass), Sam Anning (Bass), Carl Morgan (Guitar), Zac Hurren (Brass), Phil Stack (Bass), Julien Wilson (Brass), Scott Tinkler (Brass), Michelle Nicolle(Vocals) and Barney McAll (Piano).
The 2020 National Jazz Award semi-finals and finals will be held in Wangaratta on the weekend of October 30 November 1, 2020. They will be conducted in strict accordance with the COVID19 restrictions in place at the time and a full COVID Safe Plan will be implemented with the safety of all participants at the forefront.
As audience attendance restrictions are likely to be in place, but as yet are unknown at this stage, the Awards heats and finals will be live-streamed so that all interested audiences can enjoy the performances.
Mr Fuller said the prize pool has reducedas the philanthropic support that was previously in place has concluded, however further philanthropic support is being sought.
The prizes for the Awards are as follows:

  • 1stprize – $7,000 and a recording session with Pughouse Studios
  • 2ndprize – $4,000
  • 3rdprize – $2,000

“The Awards have a strong reputation and are highly regarded regionally, nationally and internationally,” Mr Fuller said. “They are often a key launching pad in artists’ musical careers”.
“2020 marks the 30th anniversary for Wangaratta Festival. With the situation ever-changing in a COVID environment we are reviewing all possible options to deliver the festival to provide something positive for the Jazz community both artists and audiences – to look forward to” he said.
For further information and if the entrant is having difficulty putting their submission together due to the Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, please contact Michele.