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Registration is now open for
the 2024 Ella Fitzgerald Jazz
Vocal Competition

The Blues Alley Jazz Society is excited to announce the return of our 7th annual Ella Fitzgerald Competition on November 1, 2023. The contest is an international vocal competition to try to identify the finest jazz vocal entertainers in the world between the ages of 17-25 years old. Past registrants have included student musicians from Sweden, Germany England, South Africa, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia and all across the United States of America. The competition will be conducted according to a timeline that will allow for personal interpretation, vocal expertise, and video submissions for the five finalists. The competition will be judged by four of the world’s most distinguished artists in the industry and together they comprise the award-winning acapella vocal group the New York Voices: Peter Eldridge, Darmon Meader, Kim Nazarian, and Lauren Kinhan. The New York Voices were founded in 1988 by four college students attending Ithaca College in upstate New York. Since then they have gone on to produce 10 acclaimed recordings and won accolades as educators. Collectively they have further distinguished themselves by going on to lead academic careers at some of America’s most acclaimed universities including Berklee and Ithaca Colleges; Indiana and New York Universities.


The theme for this upcoming year’s competition will be “Ella Loves Cole” from the inimitable Cole Porter songbook. The songbook contains such familiar titles as “Anything Goes”, “Let’s Do It; Let’s Fall in Love”, “You’re the Top, and “Night and Day”. Every year the Blues Alley Jazz Society selects a different Ella Fitzgerald recording, focusing first on the Verve label, and then emphasizing Ella Fitzgerald’s contribution to the “Great American Songbook”. Over the past eight years the competition has identified the following Fitzgerald pairings:


  • Count Basie

  • Antonio Carlos Jobim

  • Louis Armstrong

  • Johnny Mercer

  • Duke Ellington


The competition will close on January 31, 2024, the five finalists will be announced on April 1, 2024; and the winners will be announced on Saturday, April 20, 2024. The selection process will solely be the determination of our four celebrity judges and their decisions will be final.


Contestants are permitted to select three songs from the Ella Loves Cole recording and prepare an audio submission in any key preferred. We will then announce the five finalists and invite then to each submit  video recordings that will be underwritten by the Blues Alley Jazz Society in the amount of Five hundred dollars ($500.00) US. The four judges will proceed to compile one first-place winner, one runner-up, and three third-place winners. The finalists will then be invited to attend the awards ceremony at Blues Alley on Saturday, April 20th with the winner performing two song selections with the New York Voices. The show will be video recorded and posted on the Blues Alley Jazz Society website with a copy available for the first-place winner. ALL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE THE PROPERTY OF THE BLUES ALLEY JAZZ SOCIETY.

Our 2023 Winner April Varner

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