MCDCA launches Simply Jazz Online Competition for Live at Lunch

As Trinidad and Tobago continues to adapt to the new normal, social media platforms have become the ‘new performing space or stage’ for artistes and audiences alike. April and May is the unofficial Jazz season in Trinidad and Tobago, when countless events and shows are usually hosted at performing spaces across the country.

Live@Lunch Simply Jazz and Jazz Fusion were two events hosted by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts (MCDCA). Understanding the realities of the situation and the income generating vacuum facing artistes, the MCDCA livestreamed City Blessings in March and for May will host an online jazz competition for local artistes. The “Simply Jazz Online Competition” builds on the Ministry’s monthly Live@Lunch project and seeks to develop the amateur musical talent and build artistic confidence in the Jazz genre.

According to Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and Arts, “given the cancellation or postponement of many if not all of our local and regional jazz events, the online Competition is a new and innovative way to support our jazz musical talents by providing a platform to showcase their talent to a wide audience, keep the public arts alive and further the development of the overall musical and cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago. We are also celebrating new talent by the inclusion of a prize for “Best New Act”.

The competition, which will be launched on April 30, 2020, and targets nationals who are Jazz vocalists. Contestants must submit a two (2) minute cover of one of ten (10) songs from the Participants Music List. Judges will review with the top five (5) scores moving unto the finals.

The five finalists will form a capsuled Live at Lunch Simply Jazz Livestreamed show, where the winners will be voted on by the online viewing audience with over $18,000 in prize money to be won, including the special prize for Best New Act. There is also a developmental element of the competition, as the finalists will be invited by Trinidad and Tobago’s “Lady of Jazz”, Vaughnette Bigford to a two-hour workshop via Zoom on the basic approach to singing jazz and stage presentation.

The Simply Jazz Online Competition’s aim is to bring to the fore performers with a strong artistic personality and stage presence. The emphasis is therefore not on the purely technical aspect of the performance, but also on the artistic charisma of the performer. For further details on the competition please see below.

Competition Timeframe

Thursday April 30 to Monday May 11, 2020.

The deadline for the competition is Monday May 11, 2020 at 11.59 pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.