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 Thursday, 26 November 2015
Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead 2007—Applications Due November 17 PDF Print
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Friday, 15 September 2006
Betty Carter

It is a concern of mine that jazz in its classical sense stands a chance of being placed in the background of the musical spectrum. Regardless of the fact that jazz is considered one of the first of America's true musical statements, it cannot survive simply on reputation alone. Creativity and explosive musical minds built this music with the sweat of what inspired them. It isn't the lack of explosive talent that burdens us. We need to create a wider pool for young talent to emerge, to be seen, and to be heard, in order to help them create viable careers of their own.” – Betty Carter

Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, an international residency for young jazz musicians (under 30), will be held at Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, April 3-14, 2007 The week-long program includes daily workshops and rehearsals with established artists, ending in three concerts on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, broadcast live via the internet. Applications are due November 17, 2006.

Jazz Ahead was developed in 1993 by the late vocal titan Betty Carter, a devoted jazz educator. Initially held at 651, an arts center in Brooklyn, the program came to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in spring 1998 at the invitation of Kennedy Center artistic advisor, Dr. Billy Taylor. When Carter died about six months later, Taylor and Kennedy Center decided to make Jazz Ahead an annual program; Taylor continues to serve as advisor. Acclaimed artists including Cyrus Chestnut and Jacky Terrasson are graduates of Jazz Ahead; past faculty have included Kenny Barron, Terence Blanchard, John Patitucci, John Clayton and Curtis Fuller.

Eligibility includes English-proficient musicians in their mid-teens to 29 who are both composers and performers; Jazz Ahead alumni who have already participated in two residencies are not eligible. The residence includes travel to and from Washington, DC; an honorarium to cover meals; and lodging at a local hotel. There are no application or tuition fees, and musicians accepted for the program will be required to sign an agreement including insurance coverage and permission to release a broadcast and possible recording. Applicants must provide an audio recording of at least 15 minutes including at least three original compositions (instrumentalists) or two standards plus one original composition (vocalists), with at least one each up-tempo, ballad, and swing composition.

Full application materials and information are available at or call Kennedy Center Jazz at (202) 416-8348; or e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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