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Deadline Extended: 2017 John Lewis Youth Jazz Piano Competition

Jazz piano competition, open to all middle and high school students, has extended nomination deadline to June 1, 2017.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - John Lewis, founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet and an international icon in the world of jazz music, grew up in Albuquerque, attended Albuquerque High School and UNM, and continued to return here to perform and visit with relatives.

More than a decade ago, South Broadway Cultural Center held a multi-day celebration to name its theater in his honor. An annual musical event has been held at the center in his honor for the past three years.

This year, the celebration is expanding to include a new Youth Jazz Piano Competition in his honor.

Competition Details

Details about the 2017 John Lewis Youth Jazz Piano Competition:

Contest Eligibility

All public, private and home-schooled middle and high school students who play jazz piano compositions are invited to enter.

Contest Prizes

Contestants compete for the opportunity to receive cash prizes of $150 for 1st Place, a gift certificate to The Outpost Performance Space, as well as media interviews and other prizes. The 2nd place winner will receive $100 and additional prizes.

The 1st Place winner will perform at the Annual John Lewis Celebration at South Broadway Cultural Center on Thursday, July 27, opening the show for international jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusure.

Contest Criteria

Candidates will be asked to perform two selections.

  • The first round will require a John Lewis composition and a list of suggested compositions will be available by April 25 online at the South Broadway Cultural Center website.
  • The second round can be any jazz composition, including improvisation.

A special expert-led workshop for those entering the competition will be held in early June to help them prepare for a successful performance.

The competition finals will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, at the African American Performing Arts Center.

Enter Today

There are three ways to enter:

  • Submit the online entry form, or
  • Request a form by emailing [email protected] or calling (505) 848-1320, or
  • Pick up an entry form in person at any of the following locations: South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway SE, (505) 848-1320; The Outpost Performance Space, 210 Yale SE; New Mexico Jazz Workshop, 5500 Lomas NE, (505) 255-9798; or the African American Performing Arts Center, 310 San Pedro NE, (505) 222-0785.

    If picking up an entry form in person, we suggest calling to ensure that someone is available.

    Complete the form and mail to or drop it off at South Broadway Cultural Center.

Contest Entry Deadline

Deadline for entry is extended to 5 p.m., June 1, 2017.

About John Lewis

John Lewis was passionate about education, teaching at his alma mater, the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, at Harvard, and at NY City College. He devoted a great deal of time to mentoring young musicians. Help us honor his legacy by participating in this competition.


The John Lewis Piano Competition and John Lewis Celebration is sponsored by the Alibi.

The competition is a collaborative project sponsored by: the City of Albuquerque's Cultural Services Department; South Broadway Cultural Center; the African American Performing Arts Center; The Outpost Performance Space; and the New Mexico Jazz Workshop.

Contact Information

South Broadway Cultural Center

(505) 848-1320