Previously known as the International Jazz Competition for Singing Musicians, the Voicingers International Jazz Challenges for Singing Musicians (VIJCSM) has become the Polish hub for jazz vocalists from all around the world—a meeting place where the works of artists fascinated with jazz and the improvisational nature of performance are presented.

Initiated in 2008, The VIJCSM is one of the flagship events of the Voicingers Festival.

The Challenges take place in Poland, in a Silesian town of Żory.

In its 16-year history, the festival has received over four hundred applications for the VIJCSM between 2008 and 2018.

Among semi-finalists, one hundred and nine singers from all inhabited continents have performed on the stage of the Old Town Cinema (Scena na Starówce) and the stage of the Municipal Cultural Center in Żory (MOK).

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The main financial prize for selected performers is funded by Żory City Hall.

The VIJCSM also supports the promotion of new talents and the development of their careers in the difficult profession of improvising musicians, enabling the presentation of their own vision of music-making in a convention based on interaction during a live performance.

The opportunity to cooperate with experienced professionals, the presence of the audience, and the “jury”, which includes professionally active, well-known, and recognized professionals and music journalists, creates an electrifying atmosphere, saturated with the energy of inspiration.

The presentations of participants from previous editions of the VIJCSM were witnessed by figures such as Jorgos Skolias, Patricia Barber, Karin Krog, Marek Bałata, David Linx, Lars Danielsson, Anna Serafińska, Grażyna Auguścik, and many others.

RULES AND PRIZES

1. How does one apply to enter ?

Applications must be sent by mail. This is the list of the things we ask for :

  • A concise and precise biography of you, written in English, in the 3rd person singular, in several sentences. In your text, mention your major achievements but don’t dwell on them. Write about the music you make and how it relates to who you are.

  • Three high-quality digital photographs for press purposes (maximum size of one file is 6MB).

  • A link to three audio files of your choice depicting a variety of repertoire selections, (only live recordings from a studio or a concert are accepted) characteristic and currently representative of you as the performer, preferably your originals.

  • Let us taste the sound of your NATIVE LANGUAGE in your music if lyrics are a part of it. At least two songs must be up-tempo. We love ballads, but each evening will host up to three different singers who might share the same love for ballads.

  • The name of the country that issued your passport (visa invitations for participants from outside of the EU may apply).

  • Proof that the registration fee transfer has been made.

The REGISTRATION DEADLINE is July 5, 2024! The REGISTRATION FEE is 50 euros. The additional CONTEST FEE of 50 euros will ONLY be required from the selected candidates. After receiving the invitation to take part in the VIJCSM, you will have three days to transfer the contest fee of 100 euros. The payment must be sent to the account of the Żorskie Towarzystwo Kulturalne Kontrapunkt, with the note “Voicingers Challenges 2024 Fee.”

Here is the account number:

  • IBAN: PL97160014621019570320000002

  • SWIFT: PARIBAS PPABPLPKXXX

  • Bank BNP Paribas

  • Address: ul. Koszarowa 1, 44-240 Żory

Here is the legal information about our association for your reference:

  • Name: Żorskie Towarzystwo Kulturalne Kontrapunkt

  • Address: ul. Dolne Przedmieście 1 44-240 Żory, Poland

  • Tax Number: 651-165-61-47

  • ID number – KRS 0000258433

  • REGON 240395395

♥ IMPORTANT! The payment can only be made via Money Transfer (in special cases, we accept transfers via Western Union). The registration fee is not refundable !

2. Who will be chosen ?

The Contest is intended for vocalists born after January 1, 1984.

Up to 12 semi-finalists, and no fewer than 8 (depending on the overall level of the applicants), will be selected in the quarter-finals based on the materials sent during the registration process.

The selection will be carried out by three winners of the previous editions of the Voicingers Jazz Challenges:

 

The quarter-finals jury will consider factors such as overall musicality, stage presence, performance style, technical abilities, general cohesion of repertoire, and originality.

The order of appearances at the competition will be established on a random basis, and the competitors chosen to perform will be announced until June 25, 2024.

3. How will the contest proceed ?

SEMIFINALS ( Wednesday, Thursday, Friday): Semifinal presentations will take place in a concert hall of the Municipal Cultural Center in Żory (250 people capacity).

Two or three candidates (depending on the number of applicants accepted for the contest) will be auditioned each day, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Each semifinalist will be given 75 min for rehearsal with one of the festival rhythm sections (from 8:30 a.m.- 13:00 p.m.) and will present themselves in a 30-minute program on stage, which will include:

  • Preferably original compositions.

  • At least one composition in the participant’s native language (for English native speakers, a composition sung in a foreign language is obligatory). This applies only if you choose to sing with lyrics!

  • One tune arranged with the rhythm section during the rehearsal.

After the last semi final presentations on Friday evening, the jury will announce the names of four vocalists chosen for the Finals.

FINALS (Saturday): Finals presentations start at 6:30 p.m. Finalists will present themselves in 15 min performances (maximum!) and in a different repertoire.

Each presentation will be preceded by a 45 min rehearsal (the order of the performances will be chosen by drawing lots).

After the last audition, the jury will deliberate and set the order of prizes, which will be followed by the announcement of the results and presentation of awards.

Jurors of the 11th International Challenges For Singing Musicians 2024 are:

4. The participants’ commitments:

Each participant of the VIJCSM is:

  • To read the rules of the contest and agree with them. The very act of applying to take part in the contest is tantamount to agreeing with the rules.

  • To present, upon being accepted to the competition, to the organizer the list of songs planned for the performance at least 7 days before the beginning of the contest.

  • To perform, upon being selected for the contest, on the date designated by the organizers, bearing in mind that the act of applying to the International Challenges for Singing Musicians commits the applicant to keeping those dates available for Voicingers until the day the list of the semi-final participants is announced.

  • To prepare clearly written music sheets for the rhythm section, and present them to the organizer at least 7 days before the beginning of the contest.

  • To authorize The Voicingers Festival to use, distribute, and/or display the content sent by the participant during the registration process (audio/video/photo and text materials that may be otherwise protected by any proprietary rights). The act of applying to take part in the contest is tantamount to such authorization.

Each participant understands that their registration is binding. The participant agrees to ensure their availability in case of being selected to take part in the contest.

5. Organizers’ commitments:

The organizers will:

  • Provide accommodation with breakfast for all of the contest’s participants from the day before the semi final presentations begin until the day after the finals end. 

  • Provide a stage with a full PA, lighting, and a professional technical staff.

  • Provide an experienced, jazz rhythm section including: piano, bass, and drums.

  • Record all the presentations while reserving the right to use the recorded material FREELY for further promotion of the Voicingers Festival.

  • Only chosen materials will be published on Voicingers social media.

  • Provide each participant with a rehearsal room for a 75 min rehearsal with the rhythm section on the day of their contest performance.

6. Audio/video registration of the contest performances:

All the semifinals and finals presentations are audio recorded on a stereo balanced system as well as video recorded on three high-quality video cameras with prime lenses.

The festival will mix/edit and present on Voicingers Youtube channel one of the tunes each participant will perform.

The participants are free to share it on their social media if they wish to do so.

If you want to get RAW (unmixed and unedited) audio recording of your full performance along with the video tracks, the service fee of 100 euros will be charged.

You will need to provide us with a 256 GB hard drive on the day of your performance to get your copy of the recorded materials before you leave.

The final remarks:

  • Come up with your original music ideas! If you are not American, don’t bring repertoire from the American songbook (name one European or Asian singer who made it big by singing jazz standards, then think if you want to follow in their footsteps).

  • Make sure your ideas are simple and provide a room for making music (the rhythm section is not your regular band).

7. Prizes:

The Voicingers International Challenges for Singing Musicians will grant two prizes:

  • First Prize – 2000 Euros (gross, paid via money transfer in up to a month after the prize being granted).

  • Second Prize – 1000 Euros (gross, paid via money transfer in up to a month after the prize being granted).

  • Artistic Director’s Prize – a contract worth 750 euros (gross) to rehearse for and perform a concert with the Voicingers team at one of the Voicingers Festivals in Europe.

It is a lot of information to process. You can direct your questions to the following email address: mayra@voicingers.com and info@voicingers.com

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