Jazz is one of 10 artistic disciplines in YoungArts’ national competition. This discipline is open to composers and instrumentalists (if you are a jazz vocalist, please see our Voice discipline).

Jazz winners playing the bass and saxophone

Competition Eligibility

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

Strong auditions showcase the artist’s individual work, technical expertise, and unique and original sound. 

The 2024 YoungArts application opens June 6, 2023.

Have Questions?

See our FAQ for answers to common questions about the competition and application.

Tips and Testimonials from Winners and Guest Artists

Application tips | Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy, Guest Artist

Application tips | Ignacio Berroa, Guest Artist

2023 Application Jazz Info Session

2022 Application Jazz Info Session

What is the YoungArts community like? | 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)