Next Jazz Legacy


            10/17/23 DLD

Next Jazz Legacy


New Music USA

Funder Type

Private Foundation or Non-Profit


Upper:  $10,000USD

From 2021-2023 we will support 6-7 artists per year with a comprehensive package of support that is designed to have deep impact on each participant’s career. Each participant will benefit from the following activities:

  • Apprenticeship: learning by doing - performances under the stewardship of a master bandleader
  • Creative & Business Mentorship: knowledge and guidance, passed from one generation to the next, from both artists and industry professionals
  • Learning Cohort Sessions (4 per cycle): an opportunity for participants to learn together, exchange ideas and build a professional network under the guidance of Terri Lyne Carrington and with input from guest speakers
  • (1) Berklee Online learning course provided by the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice
  • Empowerment and promotion: experience for participants to present and communicate about their music via the Next Jazz Legacy podcast, short films and showcases developed in collaboration with partner presenters
  • Financial investment: one $10k grant per apprentice, which enables participants to invest in the next stages of their career. Once selected, participants will be asked to propose how they would use their grant to cover specific costs that would contribute to their career development. This will be signed off by the NJL project team. Participants can consult with their business mentor for advice on best usage of funds.

Applicant Type

Individuals: Early Career and Emerging in Field
LGBTQ+ only
Women only

Applicant/Institution Location

United States


United States

Activity Location

United States


Next Jazz Legacy is a new national apprenticeship program for women and non-binary improvisers in jazz, with the intersection of gender and race as a guiding principle. Focused on increasing opportunities for musicians most underrepresented in the art form, the three-year, national program launched by New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice – with major funding from the Mellon Foundation – invests in awardees through personalized apprenticeships, financial support, and a mission to inspire waves of lasting change.

Next Jazz Legacy champions those whose access to resources has been limited. With gender and racial justice as guiding principles, the inaugural group of Next Jazz Legacy awardees was chosen through an open call process and a meticulous, months-long review process by a distinguished and diverse panel of jazz trailblazers, chaired by NEA Jazz Master and Next Jazz Legacy’s Artistic Director, Terri Lyne Carrington. Once the seven awardees were selected, Carrington and the Next Jazz Legacy team worked closely with each of the seven musicians to match them with a pair of master bandleaders for a year-long performance apprenticeship, as well as an additional creative mentorship, both aligned with the awardees’ unique interests.


Next Jazz Legacy seeks to support emerging artists whose access to resources and learning has been the most limited, including but not limited to, women of color and non-binary improvisers. This contributes to the jazz community as a whole by making it more accessible to a broader range of untapped artists and, longer-term, increasing the quality of the music itself.

The artist applying to this program must be:

  • A woman or non-binary improviser in jazz
  • An emerging artist with substantial professional experience
  • 21-35 years old
  • Based in the US or a US territory
  • Available for full participation in the program between January 2023 and December 2023
  • Fully vaccinated

At this time, this program will not consider supporting artists that are:

  • Enrolled in an academic institution at any time during the duration of the program
  • Contracted with a third party recording company
  • Based outside of the US
  • Not able to demonstrate their need for this program

COVID-19 Safety Protocols: To create the safest environment possible for our program participants and to comply with the regulations of many live venues, we require everyone participating to be fully vaccinated by the start of this program. We will also expect all participants to comply with any regular testing protocols.


Audio Arts







All Disciplines


Deadline Date
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