Semifinalists Announced for 2019 Guitar Competition, December 2-3 in Washington, D.C.
Competition Festivities Include All-Star Gala Concert Honoring
Renowned Trumpeter/Composer Terence Blanchard
Washington, D.C. —Twelve outstanding young jazz guitarists from around the world have been selected to compete in the 2019 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition on December 2-3 in Washington, D.C.
The semifinalists are: Cecil Alexander of Muskegon, Michigan; Joseph Bell of Princeton, New Jersey; Will Brahm of Portland, Oregon; François Chanvallon of Paris, France; Lucian Gray of Toronto, Canada; Max Light of Bethesda, Maryland; Armen Movsesyan of Los Angeles, California; Evgeny Pobozhiy of Seversk, Russia; Matt Sewell of St. Louis, Missouri; Juan Vidaurre of Caracas, Venezuela; Tal Yahalom of Jerusalem, Israel; and Francesco Zampini of Rome, Italy.
These aspiring jazz musicians will compete in the Semifinals round, taking place on Monday, December 2nd, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. The semifinalists will perform before an all-star judging panel of internationally acclaimed jazz guitarists: Stanley Jordan, Lionel Loueke, Russell Malone, Pat Metheny, Chico Pinheiro, Lee Ritenour and John Scofield. Each semifinalist will perform for 15 minutes accompanied by a stellar rhythm section featuring pianist Reggie Thomas, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, and drummer Carl Allen.
From this group, the judges will select three finalists to perform in the Competition Finals at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday evening, December 3rd. At stake is more than $150,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a $30,000 first place scholarship and guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group; a $15,000 second place scholarship; and a $10,000 third place scholarship. The evening will culminate with an All-Star Gala Concert featuring performances by Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lizz Wright, Bobby Watson, Musical Director John Beasley, Emmy Award-winning actor and vocalist Keith David and many other jazz greats. The Institute will present its Maria Fisher Founder’s Award to multi-GRAMMY Award-winning trumpeter, composer and educator Terence Blanchard. Many of his former Institute students, including recording artists Gretchen Parlato, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens and others leading the next generation of major jazz artists, will take the stage to pay tribute to Blanchard.
Proceeds from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition and All-Star Gala Concert will support the Institute’s public school education programs in Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Newark, San Francisco and the Mississippi Delta.
Event and ticket information
Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition Semifinals
Monday, December 2nd at 12 noon with ticket distribution at 11:00 a.m.
Rasmuson Theater at the National Museum of the American Indian
4thSt. & Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C.
Tickets for the Semifinals are free of charge but limited, and will be distributed by the Smithsonian Associates at the National Museum of the American Indian on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition Finals and All-Star Gala Concert
Tuesday, December 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater
2700 F St., NW, Washington, D.C.
Tickets are $35 to $125 and may be purchased via the Kennedy Center box office in person, by calling 800.444.1324, or online at www.kennedy-center.org. Information regarding VIP packages, which include a post-event VIP Cast Party, is available from the Institute at 202.364.7272.