Jazz is open to composers and instrumentalists. Strong auditions showcase the artist’s individual work, technical expertise, and highlight the artist’s unique and original sound (if you are a jazz vocalist, please see our Voice discipline).

Jazz winners playing the bass and saxophone

Are you a jazz musician who is 15–18 years old or in grades 10–12?

The 2023 YoungArts application opens June 7, 2022.


To be eligible, you must be able to answer ”Yes“ to these statements:

  • I am either a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident/green card recipient, or I can demonstrate that I am legally able to receive taxable income in the United States.  
  • I am in grades 10–12 or 15–18 years of age on December 1 of the year I am applying. 
  • If I’m selected as a Finalist, this would be my first time attending National YoungArts Week.

Application Requirements

All the requirements for the 2023 competition are listed in the downloadable PDF

Hear from Winners and Guest Artists

Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy, Guest Artist

Ignacio Berroa, Guest Artist

Emmet Cohen (2008, 2009 Jazz), Guest Artist

Select Performances from Winners

"Naima" arranged by Sophia Kickhofel

"Stepping Stones" composed by Ethan Pires

"We See" arranged by Jason Arkins

"Airplane" composed by Emmanuel Michael

"Fuchsia Swing Song" arranged by Graeham Guerin

"Nefertiti" arranged by Miguel Russell

I was able to forge life-changing relationships and had an opportunity to perform in Aspen that… led to a gig at Alice Tully Hall. So much of success in the music business hinges on the connections you make, and YoungArts really helps.”

— Veronica Leahy (2018 Jazz)