40 years since its beginning, Jazz Juniors Competition is transforming into the Jazz Juniors International Exchange platform. Composed of a competition for débutantes and a showcase for professional musicians, the project focuses on promotion of jazz artists: both young and already appreciated on international stages. Deadline for applications is 9 October!

Last year’s jubilee edition of Jazz Juniors was an opportunity to make certain conclusions, as well as an appropriate moment to undertake new challenges and introduce significant changes. The dire straits we found ourselves in towards the end of the previous year due to the authorities of the Rotunda Association (previous organiser of Jazz Juniors) tumbling into insolvency made us rename the project. Yet this has been the least important change. More important transformations have been under way in the structure of Jazz Juniors continuing for a number of years, since Paweł Kaczmarczyk assumed the post of its artistic director. They consisted primarily in setting up and developing a network of international contacts for the festival. They now let us establish a new project operating on an extensive scale and aimed at opening the world’s stages to young Polish musicians”, Tomasz Handzlik, director of the Jazz Juniors International Exchange explains.

This year’s Jazz Juniors International Exchange will consist of two major parts: the competition and the showcase. The first, being a direct reference to the 40 years of the Jazz Juniors International Competition of Young Jazz Bands is addressed to musicians making their début and not yet 33 years of age. The competition is intended to help them release their first record (a term that in our case encompasses recording, releasing, and international promotion of the début album) as well as guarantee contracts for a series of performances in foreign jazz clubs or at festivals.

Submissions are welcome until 9 October. The rules and regulations and the application form are available from www.hitchonmusic.com/competition

The showcase, in turn, is a project addressed to professional musicians who want their work, project, band, and/or latest recordings to be recognised by international partners of the Jazz Juniors International Exchange. “The number of our partners includes representatives of prestigious festivals, jazz clubs, concert agencies, and publishers. What do you need to do to participate in the project? If you have recorded and released a CD in 2016 or 2017, this showcase has been custom tailored to you!” Paweł Kaczmarczyk, curator of Jazz Juniors International Exchange emphasises.

Showcase regulations are not that easy. Entrants (bands0 must arrive in Kraków with their partners – representatives of the music sector, whether from Europe od from the world. This condition was introduced to help the organisers in the following phase of development and transformation of the festival. Next year the project will be held under the name of Hitch On Music Exchange and follow the formula of a modern music fair. Jazz Juniors International Exchange will transform into a platform for discussion, a concert stage for exchanging experience, and benchmarking, reviews and appraisals so as to transform into the place where international contracts will be signed, and where the young albeit already recognised artists will begin their world tours.

These, however, are plans for the future, and in the meantime, let’s not forget that the deadline for applications from entrants to Jazz Juniors International Exchange 2017 is 9 October. The rules and application form are available from www.hitchonmusic.com/showcase

The Finals of Jazz Juniors International Exchange presenting the qualifying competition and showcase bands will be held in Kraków from 3 to 6 December 2017.

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