Previously known as the International Jazz Competition for Singing Musicians, The Challenges became the Polish hub for world jazz vocalists, a meeting place where the works of those artists whose skills derive from their fascination with jazz and the improvisational nature of performance are presented
Due to the inherent and integrally negative nature of competition, which leads to fueling evaluative attitudes and comparing one another, in 2023 the former competition will return in a new format as the International Jazz Challenges for Singing Musicians, whose aim is the celebration and joy of making music together.
Initiated in 2008, The Challenges are one of the flagship events of the Voicingers festival. In its ten-year history, the festival has recorded over four hundred applications for the Voicingers Challenges (2008-2018).
Among the artists qualified for The Challenges, one hundred and nine singers from all inhabited continents presented themselves on the stage of the Cinema in the Old Town (former synagogue in Żory) and on the stage of the Municipal Cultural Center in Żory. The main financial prize for the most interesting performers was funded by the City Hall in Żory in 2008-2013, and from 2015 the prize in the form of a record release was funded by the Slovak label Hevhetia.
The International Jazz Challenges for Singing Musicians also support 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 of previous editions of the Challenges were whitnessed to by such figures as Jorgos Skolias, Patricia Barber, Karin Krog, Marek Bałata, David Linx, Lars Danielson, Anna Serafińska, Elchin Shirinov, Grażyna Auguścik