May 7, 2020

The Simply Jazz Online Competition’s aim is to bring to the fore performers with a strong artistic personality and stage presence. The emphasis is therefore not on the purely technical aspect of the performance, but also on the artistic charisma of the performer.  For further details on the competition please see below.

Competition Timeframe

Thursday April 30 to Monday May 11, 2020.


  1. The competition is open to all Jazz performing vocalists and instrumentalists, who are nationals of Trinidad and Tobago.
  2. A contestant may be from one of the two (2) categories performing one of the ten (10) songs from the “Participants Music List”.


  • Vocals backed by either tracks or an instrumentalist or it can be a vocalist/instrumentalist.
  • Instrumentalists (stand-alone)
  1. The maximum number of entries is one per contestant. Each performance entry should be a 2-minute video (maximum 70MB), along with a scanned copy of ID and contact number emailed to: with the Subject Heading: “Live at Lunch Simply Jazz Online Competition”.                                    
  2. Each entrant will receive a confirmation e-mail.
  3. Finalists will be selected by a panel of three (3) judges to form a capsuled Live at Lunch Simply Jazz Livestreamed show that will be held on Friday May 15 at 12 noon. The overall “Winners” will be determined via public vote.
  4. The Ministry expects that all entrants will exercise honesty and integrity and submit videos in compliance with the guidelines. Failure to comply will result in automatic disqualification.
  5. The judges’ decision will be final.
  6. The deadline for the competition is Monday May 11, 2020 at 11.59 pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.



Jazz is seen as a fusion of African and European musical styles and there are many sub-genres of Jazz, like Acid Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Bebop, Indo Jazz, Jazz -funk, and many others. Some of the basic characteristics of Jazz include improvisation, strong, prominent meter, dotted or syncopated rhythmic patterns, and distinctive tone colours and performance techniques. Jazz emphasizes the importance of expression, style, individuality and communication.


The following are some main aspects that will be adjudicated upon:

  • MELODY – the vocalist or instrumentalist must be able to establish the melody before any melodic development. Diction for singer must have clarity and precision, with all pitches and phrasing sung in tune and consistent with the genre.
  • RHYTHM – rhythm must be performed accurately as it pertains to the style in which it is performed.
  • TONALITY – the performer should demonstrate a good understanding of tonal quality unless it is an atonal piece that is being performed which will apply to the adaptation and composition of pitches and how they present the piece.
  • PRESENTATION – the performer must be professionally attired and the title of the piece should be coupled with how they execute the performance.


Judging Criteria –Vocalists

A panel of three (3) Adjudicators would will be judging vocals category of the competition based on

  • Vocals – the ability to swing, improvise on melody, stay within key structure and some knowledge of the vocal jazz era 1917 – 1950.
  • Melody – good understanding of Jazz melody, or changing a normal melody to jazz melody, jazz chords and reharmonisation.
  • Rhythm – should know avant – garde jazz, bebop jazz, blue note, contemporary, cool, crossover, fusion latin, ragtime, smooth, traditional jazz, etc.


Judging Criteria – Instrumentalists

A panel of three (3) Adjudicators would be judging instrumentalists category of the competition.

Competitors will be asked to record video images of themselves performing a jazz composition using their instrument of choice (trumpet, Steelpan, Saxophone, piano, etc.)

  • Instrumentalist  – the ability to swing and use syncopation, improvise. Identify modes and chord progressions, and know some knowledge of the 1920’s jazz era.
  • Melody –  good understanding of Jazz melody, or changing a normal melody to jazz melody, jazz chords, and reharmonization.
  • Rhythm – should know avant-garde jazz, bebop jazz, blue note, contemporary, cool, crossover, fusion Latin, ragtime, smooth, traditional jazz, etc.

Participants Music List

  • Misty by Erroll Garner
  • Summertime by George and Ira Gershwin
  • God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday
  • My Funny Valentine by Rodgers and Hart
  • Lullaby of Birdland by George Shearing
  • Our Love is here to stay by George and Ira Gershwin
  • They can’t take that away from me by George and Ira Gershwin
  • Satin Doll by Duke Ellington
  • Good Morning Heartache by Irene Higginbotham, Ervin Drake and Dan Fisher
  • Fly Me to the Moon by Kaye Ballard

Competition Prizes

  • Category: Vocalist

1st Prize – $5,000.00

2nd place – $3,500.00

3rd place – $2,500.00


  • Category: Instrumentalist

1st Prize – $5,000.00

2nd place – $3,500.00

3rd place – $2,500.00


Special prize for the Best New Act