Below is a project description I submitted to the Canada Council in June 2008. I requested and received $1,500 to travel to Nottingham, England to participate in the Nottingham National Jazz Piano Competition in July 2008.
Quick note: In April 2009, I submitted virtually the same request to participate in the Montreux Jazz Piano Competition. It was rejected. I was told that it was a good application, but that there wasn’t enough money to go around!
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I am very excited to be one of twelve pianists from around the world invited to attend and participate in the 2008 Nottingham National Jazz Piano Competition in Nottingham, England. This gives me a unique opportunity to represent Canada in front of a group of experienced jazz musicians and music supporters from the Nottingham region and the rest of England. My performance(s) will include a mix of my arrangements of traditional jazz standards as well as a few of my original compositions. My repertoire selection also includes a piece by Canadian pianist and composer Doug Riley. I am looking forward to playing in England as well as sharing my music with its audiences for the first time.
I am also looking forward to meeting and creating friendships with the other participants in the competition. The other pianists are undoubtedly from all over England, Europe and the rest of the world. These kinds of friendships will not only help me develop from a musical perspective, but also from a career perspective. Relationships created with other international musicians will surely result in new opportunities and ultimately bring attention to Canadian jazz.
With the funding provided by the council, I will be able to explore these opportunities without the stress of travel expenses. I am confident that the approval of this application will ultimately aid the advance of my music career and help me focus on representing and contributing to new Canadian music. I sincerely appreciate the council’s time in reviewing my application and hope to be given the honour of receiving this grant.