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Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Recognizes 20 Rising Talents

The award is named after the great trumpeter, ASCAP member and co-founder of A&M Records.

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Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images

The original work of 20 young talents in the jazz genre has earned each of them a 2021 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, bestowed by the ASCAP Foundation.

The award is named after the great trumpeter, ASCAP member and co-founder of A&M Records, to recognize the Herb Alpert Foundation’s continuing commitment to the program. The Foundation is a non‐profit, private organization that was founded in the late 1980s.

A national competition to find the winners was judged by a panel of experts, made up of Ambrose Akinmusire, Wycliffe Gordon, and Jihye Lee. Each of the 20 award-winners received a cash award, with additional funding for the program provided by the ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund. All of the artists reside in the US, but hail from far and wide, including from India, China and Japan.

ASCAP Foundation president and storied songwriter Paul Williams says: “We are grateful to the Herb Alpert Foundation for their long-standing partnership and financial support for this important program to help nurture the careers of talented young music creators. Every year we look forward to hearing the innovative compositions from our Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award recipients, who are the future of this vital art form. We congratulate and wish them enduring success.”

Recipients are as follows:

Clint Bleil, age 26 of Pittsburgh, PA
Andy Clausen, age 28 of Brooklyn, NY (Seattle, WA)
Stratøs (Eddie Codrington), age 24 of Kalamazoo, MI (Ann Arbor, MI)
Michael Echaniz, age 26 of Oakland, CA (Berkeley, CA)
Eliana Fishbeyn, age 25 of New York, NY (Chapel Hill, NC)
Ariel Sha Glassman, age 24 of Denton, TX (Columbus, OH)
Philip Ryan Goss, age 28 of Brookline, MA (Evanston, IL)
Jon Hatamiya, age 29 of Sacramento, CA (Davis, CA)
Joseph Herbst, age 25 of Easley, SC
Chase Kuesel, age 27 of Brooklyn, NY (Norwalk, CT)
Aditi Malhotra, age 23 of Boston, MA (New Delhi, India)
Luca Mendoza, age 22 of Los Angeles, CA
Lesley Mok, age 26 of Brooklyn, NY (San Mateo, CA)
Yu Nishiyama, age 26 of Hawthorne, NJ (Yokohama, Japan)
Zach Rich, age 27 of Greeley, CO (Wichita, KS)
Yoko Suzuki, age 26 of Yokohama, Japan
Gary (Kaiji) Wang, age 25 of Rochester, NY (Beijing, China)
Alex Weitz, age 30 of New York, NY (Tucson, AZ)
Matt Wong, age 22 of New York, NY (San Francisco, CA)
Courtney Wright, age 26 of New York, NY (Woodbridge, VA)

There are also Honorable Mentions for the following composer:

Henry Godfrey, age 24 of Jamaica Plain, MA (Silver Spring, MD)
Oliver Mann, age 17 of CA; Daiki Nakajima, age 18 of San Jose, CA
Hunter McKay, age 24 of Boston, MA (York, ME)
Yuma Uesaka, age 30 of Brooklyn, NY (London, UK)
Andrew Watkins Alcocer, age 24 of Rochester, NY (Fresno, CA).

Furthermore, one of this year’s Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards recipients will be featured by the Newport Jazz Festival, thanks to a partnership with the Newport Festivals Foundation.

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