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For the fifth consecutive year, singers from around the world will gather online to compete in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, a 21st century version of the amateur night at the Apollo Theater that helped launch the career of a gifted teenager from Newark, Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan, more than 70 years ago.
The only international vocal competition of its kind in the world, the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition culminates in a rousing performance on the final day of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival (November 1-20), a yearly celebration of jazz at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and other venues in Greater Newark. On November 19, the evening prior to the competition, the festival presents a Sarah Vaughan Celebration, featuring the Christian McBride Trio and vocalists Dianne Reeves, Lisa Fischer and Sheila Jordan, in NJPAC's Victoria Theater.
The contest provides a platform for one outstanding jazz singer to gain widespread recognition in the music industry. Past winners include Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn (winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk Competition), Ashleigh Smith and Arianna Neikrug.
Beginning the week ofMay 16, female vocalists can submit an application online at sarahvaughancompetition.com. The public has the opportunity to vote for their favorites by visiting the website. Five finalists, who will be announced on October 18, will perform at NJPAC on November 20 before a panel of judges that will include four-time Gammy-winning jazz bassist and NJPAC's Jazz Advisor Christian McBride, legendary jazz vocalist and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, Sheila Anderson from WBGO, and Mark Ruffin from Sirius XM.
The competition is open to female vocalists who are 16 years or older and who are not presently signed to a major record label. Singers must submit audio clips online through a website powered by Indaba Music (sarahvaughancompetition.com) by September 12 at 5 p.m.
Think you have what it takes? The judges are looking for vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation and ability to swing. The grand prize winner of the coveted SASSY Award will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a recording deal with Concord Music Group.
The incomparable singer Sarah Vaughan was born in Newark in 1924 and was known as "Sassy" throughout her life for her vibrant personality. After winning the top prize of $10 at the Apollo Theatre's amateur night at age 18 in 1942, she went on to record with the greatest names in jazz, including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstine and countless others.
The 2016 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition finals will take place on Sunday, November 20 at 3 p.m. in NJPAC's intimate Victoria Theater. For tickets, call 1.888.GO.NJPAC (1.888.466.5722) or visit njpac.org.
The TD James Moody Jazz Festival's title sponsor is TD Bank. The festival also is generously supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Special program support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
About TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Co-produced by NJPAC and WBGO Jazz 88.3FM, the TD James Moody Jazz Festival was inaugurated in 2012 and named in recognition of the jazz saxophone virtuoso from Newark. NJPAC's annual celebration of "America's classical music" is a spree of more than two dozen concerts and related activities - over half of which are free to the community. Guided by Christian McBride, NJPAC's Jazz Advisor, the festival has presented artists such as The Manhattan Transfer, David Sanborn, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves, Sérgio Mendes, Bill Charlap, Esperanza Spalding, Fantasia, Chris Botti, Pat Metheny, and the Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette trio, among many others.
The TD James Moody Jazz Festival is intrinsic to Newark, a city renowned as the home and creative inspiration for jazz geniuses including Sarah Vaughan and pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith, and institutions such as Savoy Records, the Rutgers-Newark Institute of Jazz Studies and WBGO Jazz 88.3FM. Among the festival's unique events are One on One with Christian McBride, a concert-and-conversation series featuring jazz's top talents; a free Day of Swing family program at NJPAC's Center for Arts Education; Dorthaan's Place Sunday jazz brunches at the Arts Center's NICO Kitchen + Bar; and a schedule of concerts and special attractions held off-campus throughout Newark.
About Concord Music Group
Concord Music Group, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., is one of the largest independent record and music publishing companies in the world. A small sampling of the company's active roster includes Sir Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Valerie June, Ben Harper, Chick Corea, Steve Martin, Esperanza Spalding and Seether. Concord's catalog includes legends such as John Coltrane, John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Thelonious Monk, Isaac Hayes, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett, among many others. The company's celebrated family of labels includes Concord Records, Concord Jazz, Hear Music, Fantasy, Stax, Telarc, Milestone, Riverside, Specialty, Prestige and Rounder Records. Additionally, Concord has recently partnered with independent label Loma Vista Recordings, whose illustrious artist roster includes Spoon, St. Vincent, Little Dragon, Birds of Tokyo, Ghost BC, Manchester Orchestra and Papa.
Concord Music Group's releases are distributed throughout the world by Universal Music Group and are regularly licensed for use in major motion pictures, television and advertising. In March 2013, Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC acquired Concord Music Group in partnership with an individual investor group that includes members of Concord's senior management. As an investment manager at the forefront of intellectual property investing, Wood Creek's confidence in Concord underscores a belief in the appreciating value of great music content around the globe.
About WBGO Newark Public Radio
Within public radio, WBGO is regarded as a leader because of its ground-breaking work in community and volunteer involvement, special events, and the presentation of jazz (including collaboration with local artists). Founded in 1979, WBGO is a publicly-supported, cultural institution located in the heart of downtown Newark. WBGO is one of the original 12 New Jersey cultural organizations that has been designated a "Major Impact" arts organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and has been awarded this distinction for each of the past 20 years.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD." To learn more, visit www.td.com.
About Indaba Music
Indaba Music is a technology platform and marketing services company home to a community of over 1.1 million musicians worldwide, from emerging artists to Grammy Award winners. Indaba expanded into the Licensing realm with Indaba Sync (www.indabasync.com), a portal for licensing the best emerging content from the Indaba Music community. Indaba Music pioneered the online music collaboration and community space when it launched in 2007, enabling anyone with internet access to create, edit and mix studio-quality music online.
Indaba Music now provides musicians with opportunities ranging from remix contests to sync and licensing opportunities to branded marketing programs. Indaba Music currently boasts musicians from 205 countries and territories. To date, Indaba Music contests have featured artists and brands including Daft Punk, Red Bull, Snoop Dogg, Peter Gabriel, Linkin Park, Yo-Yo Ma, Microsoft, Paul Simon, Converse, Foster The People, Bacardi and Usher.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is 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 attracted more than 10 million visitors (including over 1.5 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. NJPAC is a proud partner of Newark Celebration 350.