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Wellington Jazz Festival opens submissions for new work from Jazz composers

Story Published Wednesday 26 April 2023

As part of our ongoing commitment to investing in local musicians and contributing to the development of Aotearoa jazz sounds, the Wellington Jazz Festival is pleased to once again open submissions for new work from jazz composers. Now in its fifth year, our commissions have become an established highlight of the Festival.


There is one commission opportunity available:

  • Composition of up to 9 instruments (maximum).
  • The maximum commission fee is $10,000 for ensembles of 1-5 instruments or $12,500 for ensembles of 6-9 instruments.
  • The commission should be between 15 - 20 minutes (we note that lengths may vary in performance due to improvisation).
  • Instruments may include voice.
  • The compositions should feature improvisation. Hybrid genres and experimentation are encouraged.

It is intended that the premiere of the commissions will take place during the Wellington Jazz Festival, 25-29 October 2023. The Festival will cover presentation costs.


  • Composers must be NZ citizens or permanent residents who are NZ-based and currently living in NZ.
  • Compositions must be new original material and can be one full work or multiple shorter works.
  • Composers may write for specific NZ-based musicians.
  • Composers may compose for themselves or ensembles they perform in.
  • Compositions may be collaborative. The lead composer must be currently living in NZ. All composition collaborators must be paid from the commission fee.
  • Composers and/or their ensembles must be able to perform a one-hour set as part of the Wellington Jazz Festival programme, within which the new work(s) feature.
  • The composer must be present in Wellington at the premiere of the work.
  • The performance is scheduled to take place at Meow in Wellington during the Festival dates of 25-29 October 2023.
  • The composer must cover reasonable costs of musical scores (copying and printing etc.).
  • The successful composers will submit the final score for their composition to the Wellington Jazz Festival by Friday 6 October (you are not required to submit the composition when applying).

We will only accept one submission per composer.

Applications close 12pm, Monday 8 May.

We aim to notify the successful applicant no later than Friday 19 May.

Got questions? Please get in touch at [email protected] or 04 473 0149.

If you would like to submit a commission proposal, please do so below.