Young Jazz Talent Award

Jazz is an essential part of musical culture. During its more than one hundred years of development, jazz has constantly produced new styles and has become a globally dominant form of popular music, which it continues to play a decisive role in shaping. Jazz musicians are characterised not only by a high degree of virtuosity in mastering their instruments, but also by a special talent for improvisation. In Germany, an independent jazz culture of international significance has developed since the 1960s with prominent artists such as Albert Mangelsdorff, Klaus Doldinger and Till Brönner.

Promoting young jazz talents in German-speaking countries is a particular concern of the initiators of the YOUNG JAZZ TALENT AWARD. In 2022, the “Ringbeck Foundation” launched the award: young, not yet established jazz musicians between the ages of 16 and 23 should receive special support in their career development. Each year the focus is on a selected instrument/element.

In 2022 the focus was on the drums... »DRUMS ONLY«. The winner was Merlin Hellenkamp. He studies at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen Werden - Bachelor's degree program "Jazz Performing Artist Drums" with lessons from Prof. Thomas Alkier and Sperie Karas. At 18, he was the youngest of four nominated drummers and proved to be an exceptional talent among the younger drummers in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In 2023, the piano took center stage as one of the particularly important, style-defining instruments in jazz and pop music ... »PIANO ONLY«. The 22-year-old Paul Küppers won the majority of the jury's votes. Paul will be studying at the HfMT in his sixth semester in 2023. University of Music and Dance. Cologne – Bachelor's degree program »Music. Jazz/Pop” with lessons from Prof. Hubert Nuss and Prof. Niels Klein. He is the bandleader of the group PKIII and has appeared as a sideman with, among others, the Frederik Hesses Quintet and the fusion band M.E.I.N.E.R.

In 2024, the competition will focus on singing as a complementary and at the same time dominant element of jazz ... »VOCALS ONLY«. The competition among the nominated singers will take place on April 26, 2024 from 8:30 p.m. in the »Jazz Schmiede. Düsseldorf«. The winner's tour is planned for autumn 2023.

The content concept of the YOUNG JAZZ TALENT AWARD was jointly developed by the board of directors of the “Ringbeck Foundation” Jürgen Ringbeck and Peter Weiss, the Spiritus Rector of the Düsseldorf jazz scene and musical director of the “Jazz Schmiede”. Düsseldorf« developed. Special thanks for their support in the implementation go to the professors responsible for the nominations, the members of the jury as well as the “Jazz Schmiede Düsseldorf” and the other participating German jazz clubs.

The YOUNG JAZZ TALENT AWARD 2024 is again endowed with € 5,000.00. Young, not yet established jazz singers are particularly supported. The award winner is expected to have a special command of his/her voice, musical interaction as well as playful creativity and improvisational talent. A concert tour with their own band will be organized for him/her in four renowned German jazz clubs in the fall of the competition year. The prize money will be used to realize this tour.

 

The procedure of the competition in 2024  In order to simplify the selection process, but at the same time ensure a high quality of candidates, the pre-selection will initially be limited to jazz singers who study in North Rhine-Westphalia. Prof. Romy Cameroon, »Folkwang University of the Arts. Essen” and Prof. Anette von Eichel, “University of Music and Dance. Cologne« will, as renowned trainers in the region, will each propose two suitable candidates who, after meeting all the necessary requirements, will be nominated for the competition. The selection process is currently ongoing

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

The award winner will be selected by an exclusive jury and honored on the same evening.