Young Jazz Talent Award

Young Jazz Talent Award 2024 - Vocals Only

Fr 26. 04. 2024
20:30
Normal price € 14,– / Reduced € 10,–
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Promoting young jazz talent in German-speaking countries is a particular concern of the initiators of the Young Jazz Talent Award. the Ringbeck Foundation launched the award in 2022: Young, not yet established jazz musicians between the ages of 16 and 23 are to be given special support in their career development. Each year, the focus is on a selected instrument/element.

In 2023, the focus was on the piano ... 'Piano Only'. This year, the competition will focus on vocals as a complementary and at the same time dominant element of jazz ... 'Vocals Only'. The Young Jazz Talent Award 2024 is again endowed with €5,000.00. It is aimed specifically at young, not yet established jazz singers. The award winner is expected to have a special command of their voice, musical interplay, playful creativity and talent for improvisation. A concert tour with his/her own band will be organised for him/her in four renowned German jazz clubs in the autumn of the competition year. The prize money will be used to realise this tour.

The competition procedure in 2024: In order to simplify the selection process while ensuring a high quality of candidates, the pre-selection will initially be limited to jazz singers studying in North Rhine-Westphalia. Prof Romy Camerun, 'Folkwang University of the Arts . Essen' and Prof Anette von Eichel, 'Hochschule für Musik und Tanz . Cologne' will each put forward two suitable candidates as renowned instructors in the region, who will be nominated for the competition once they have fulfilled all the necessary requirements.

The nominees:
Merle Böwering
Anna Galtschenko
Sophia Hufschmidt
Eva Swiderski

Each candidate will present three pieces together with the accompanying band.

The jury:
- Fay Claassen . multiple award-winning jazz singer
- Kristina Brodersen . Renowned jazz musician on saxophone
- Uli Beckerhoff . Internationally renowned jazz musician . Professor for jazz trumpet
- Jürgen Ringbeck . Initiator and organiser of the YOUNG JAZZ TALENT AWARD . Jazz enthusiast
- the audience of the "Jazz-Schmiede . Düsseldorf" on the evening of the competition

https://jazztalentaward.de/

News about the event

  • We are already looking forward to the final evening of this year's Young Jazz Talent Award on 26 April at the Schmiede.
    These are the jazz singers nominated for the YOUNG JAZZ TALENT AWARD 2024:

    Merle Böwering

    What fascinates you most about music?
    What fascinates me most about music is the interpersonal and musical exchange. It's always special for me to be on stage with fellow musicians, to react spontaneously to each other and to experience this sense of community. Songwriting is also very important to me. When composing and writing lyrics, I can express my thoughts and feelings and share them with others.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    Bon Iver (US folk band) is the band I've been listening to the longest and most consistently. The way Justin Vernon writes lyrics really excites and inspires me. I also find it exciting to observe how the band's sound has changed over the years. Ella Fitzgerald's singing was one of my first points of contact with jazz. Her phrasing and scat singing immediately touched and impressed me. In addition to Ella, the sound of Chet Baker and Esperanza Spalding also influenced me personally.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to perform with?
    I would love to be on stage with the Portuguese musician MARO. I particularly appreciate the way she writes melodies and her soulful and soft voice, which has a high recognition value.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    Besides making music, teaching and going to concerts, I like to dance in my spare time. I used to dance a lot of ballet and hip hop and have now started again. It's a nice balance to my otherwise very music-focussed everyday life. It's a good way to work out and clear my head. I also enjoy going to the theatre or watching dance productions.

    Anna Galchenko

    My name is Anna, I'm 21 years old and I'm in my fifth semester of jazz singing at the Folkwang UdK in Essen. I am very grateful for the opportunity to take part in this year's Young Talent Jazz Award. I started classical piano lessons at the age of five and realised relatively quickly that I was more drawn to singing. I then started singing in a Ukrainian children's choir relatively quickly and then had private lessons at the age of 10. When I was about 13, I came across jazz and became enthusiastic about it. I started singing standards and of course transcribing Chet Baker. At the moment, I would say I orientate myself a lot on Norma Winstone and the modern jazz published by ECM. I try to compose in that direction, as well as incorporating classical, Latin American elements and vocalises, like in one of my favourite albums 'Aqui' by Tatjana Parra and Andres Beeuwsaert.
    At the YTJA, I want to showcase the versatility of my music. It's important to me to sing compositions without lyrics and reach people with them. I find the effect of this very interesting, as the voice then acts as a non-verbal instrument and there is no need for language as a means of communication.
    I'm really looking forward to the evening and am excited to meet the other participants.

    What fascinates you most about music?
    In general, I'm fascinated by the diversity and change in music. In jazz alone, there are so many different subcategories and genres, and it's all categorised as 'jazz'. I find it incredibly exciting how much music exists in the world, with its own facets and cultural differences, so that everyone can find themselves somewhere. For me, it's a phenomenon that can bring people together on an infinite number of levels.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    It's quite difficult for me to single out just one musician, as I'm influenced by so many musicians in so many different areas and genres. In classical music, I am particularly inspired by Chopin and I loved playing his works.
    When I started singing jazz, I listened to and sang a lot of Chet Baker, Joni Mitchell, Carmen Mcrae and Thelonious Monk. Chet Baker's solos really shaped my language and improved my improvisation. Keith Jarrett is one of my favourite pianists and I try to incorporate elements of his playing into my compositions as much as I can.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to perform with?
    Again, there are many musicians that I admire and would love to play with. Kenny Wheeler's Large Ensemble is at the top of the list, as I currently listen to and sing a lot of contemporary jazz. I find every single composition from the album ''Music For Large And Small Ensembles'' unique and of course Norma Winstone's singing inspires and touches me a lot. I would also love to play with Richie Beirach as a duo as I am fascinated by his musical choices and I think I could learn so much from him.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    My life largely consists of music, but I make an effort to find a balance in my everyday life. For example, I go to the gym regularly and I have a small dog. I'm also interested in psychology and political issues relating to feminism and racism.
    I maintain friendships with various people inside and outside the jazz scene.


    Sophia Hufschmidt

    What fascinates you most about music?
    That it can be so touching and that you can communicate through music in a way that goes beyond verbal communication.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    Stevie Wonder, Dianne Reeves and Milton Nascimento.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to be on stage with?
    I find it difficult to say specifically, but perhaps with Stevie Wonder or Al Jarreau.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    My life has a lot to do with music, of course, but apart from that I enjoy spending time with friends, travelling and other cultural activities, such as going to museums or the theatre.


    Eva Swiderski


    What do you find particularly fascinating about music?
    For me, music is an escape from everyday life, the dreariness, the world-weariness. At the same time, it is also a way of processing these feelings and giving listeners a chance to feel heard or less lonely.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    To this day, Bobby McFerrin remains an inexplicable phenomenon for me, his musicality, (self-)irony and lightness despite his insanely acrobatic singing fascinates me. Having played classical piano for a long time, I'm finding more and more pleasure in the fusion of classical harmony mixed with improvisation; it was probably similar to Bobby, who as a baby was already comfortably listening to his parents warbling operas under the grand piano and later came to jazz. I also feel connected to Brazilian music in a way. I find the way João Gilberto, João Bosco and Chico Buarque compose so beautifully delicate ... at the same time, the recordings radiate a warm, lively energy. And that despite the fact that most of the latter's music was about criticising the dictatorial regime of the time. Recently I've also been able to get a lot out of new music, be it Helmut Lachenmann, Rebecca Saunders or Lauren Newton or my friends Laura Totenhagen, etc. I'm constantly adding new things to my repertoire. New things are constantly being added and I think it's important to always keep an open mind for different genres.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to perform with?
    On tour as a backing singer for Shirin David.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    I like going to the market and bargaining over every bunch of coriander, watching cookery videos, going for walks. Sometimes I watch films excessively, e.g. at the Berlinale, put acrylic blobs on a canvas or finally finish knitting my scarf. I almost forgot to mention that I'm a passionate Scrabble player! Add me on Wordfeud: @eversnidersbyhurchill).

    Eva Swiderski (*2000) is a Berlin jazz singer, currently a student at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz (Prof. Anette von Eichel, Prof. Shannon Barnett) in Cologne. Coming from the classical piano, her path as a singer led her through several big bands, including the Landes Jugend Jazz Orchester Berlin, Bundes Jazz Orchester, Orchestre National de Jazz (FR). With her FLINTA* band called Ever Evolving, she played at the renowned Cologne Klaeng Festival, performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival and won the German Music Council's Future Music Competition in 2023 with her composition "Insomnia". As a scholarship holder of the Gutenberg Jazz Collective in Mainz, she got to know world-famous musicians (including Norma Winstone, Ben Wendel and Lionel Loueke) with whom she was able to share the stage. After being accepted into the German National Academic Foundation (2022), she was able to release her first singles and focus on political activism in addition to music, including organising a benefit festival for Ukraine at Cologne's "Odonien" in June 2022, co-organising the feminist concert series "La Citè des Dames" for gender equality at the HfMT Cologne and setting up a regular "FLINTA* Köln Musik" meeting with Catalina Valencia (diversity officer at the Jazzhausschule Köln). During her Erasmus semester (2024) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she met British singing legend Elaine Delmar and received lessons from Brigitte Beraha and Scott Stroman. She was also able to join the London Vocal Project (directed by Pete Churchill).

    https://jazztalentaward.de/de/nominierte-2024