BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship Rules

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The BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising jazz star pursuing an advanced academic degree in Jazz Performance, Jazz Studies, or related majors. The award was established in 2015 in honor of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, a lifetime achievement recognition program of the National Endowment for the Arts. The $5,000 scholarship has been presented in recent years at the annual BMI/NEA celebration of Jazz Master honorees. Prior program judges include NEA Jazz Masters Ahmad Jamal, Jack DeJohnette, Jimmy Heath, and Ron Carter.


In order to be eligible for the competition, all applicants must be:

  1. Current full-time or part-time students of a U.S. college or university. Students who have been accepted to a U.S. college or university for future enrollment are NOT eligible.
  2. Between the ages of 17 and 24, as of January 29, 2021.
  3. Potential first-time winners of the competition: former winners (other than Honorable Mention) of the BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship are not eligible to enter the competition.


Applications must be submitted online no later than January 29, 2021, 11:59pm EST. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. Three recordings (MP3 or MP4a files) of recent performances. At least one of these performed works must be original. There are no limitations as to age, style, instrumentation, or voice.
  2. Track listing that includes title, composer, and performance information for each submitted recording.
  3. A chart or score of any recording submission that is an original work.


Applications will be judged on evidence of talent and potential as a jazz performer and composer.


One $5,000 award will be available for the competition. The Foundation reserves the right to make no award or to award a prize or prizes totaling less than the full amount. The BMI Foundation shall have the right (but shall have no obligation) to license up to three public performances of a winning composition and, in the case of works of a popular nature, authorize appropriate musical arrangements to be made for such performances. The BMI Foundation shall also have the right to post or share a recording and/or written lyrics of any winning compositions on the and websites and social media profiles and to authorize the reproduction and distribution on audio tape and/or CD of no more than twelve (12) copies of each work. All other rights under the copyright law remain vested in the composer and lyricist.

The winner, if any, will be announced in late spring 2021 via email, in the press and/or on


Please address all inquiries to:

BMI Foundation, Inc.
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007-0030

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