Jazz Piano Competition

First place winner will open for International Jazz Trumpeter on July 27.


This event has already happened.
Apr 06, 2017 02:00 PM - May 19, 2017 05:00 PM


African American Performing Arts
310 San Pedro NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108


Jazz piano competition open to all middle and high school students


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. In 2001, 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. All public, private and home-schooled middle and high school students who play jazz piano compositions are invited to enter 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 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.

The competition finals will be held at the African American Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, July 26 from 1-4 p.m. 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.

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 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.

LIst of suggested composition:

Afternoon in Paris

Skating in Central Park

Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West



Milestones ::  a tune written by John Lewis. It was written for Miles Davis while he was playing in Charlie Parker’s band. This tune is NOT to be confused with the 1958 modal tune “Milestones” which was written by Miles Davis.

In A Crowd

The Sheriff

Tillamook Two

Enter Today

There are three ways to enter:

  1. Access the online information and entry form at
  2. Contact [email protected] via e-mail, or call SBCC at 505-848-1320 and request that a form be e-mailed to you.
  3. Pick up an entry form 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. We suggest calling to ensure that someone is available.
  4. Complete the form and mail to or drop it off at South Broadway Cultural Center.
    Deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Friday, May 19, 2017.

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.



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Chloe Nieto