Bands and composers apply now!

Deadline February 12, 2021, 9:00 PM ET | Notification June 2021 | Grant Period July 1, 2021-June 30, 2024

A component of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project, New Jazz Works is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works program provides grants to U.S. jazz ensembles to create, perform, and record new works. The new work may be composed by the ensemble leader or a member of the ensemble. Since 2000, CMA has commissioned 250 original jazz works.

The Board of Directors of Chamber Music America has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization’s work. New Jazz Works seeks a diverse group of applicants based on race and gender self identification. CMA’s goal, through its panel process, is to arrive at a final slate of grantees that is representative of the field in terms of race, gender and style of jazz. Applicants are presented anonymously to panelists who, through multiple rounds, review submitted sound samples only. Learn more about CMA’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.


Only ensembles consisting of 2-10 musicians may apply to this program.

An ensemble is eligible if it

  • is a professional composer-led or collective jazz ensemble;
  • is based in the U.S. or its territories, and the leader is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • includes improvisation as an integral part of composition and performance;
  • is a CMA Ensemble-level member;
  • has no overdue reports or financial obligations to CMA; and
  • has waited 12 months from completion of any previous CMA commissioning grant.

An ensemble may apply to either CMA’s 2021 New Jazz Works program or the 2021 Classical Commissioning program, but not to both. Similarly, a composer may appear on only one application in either program.

THE COMPOSER: The composer may be either the bandleader or a member of the ensemble. The composer is understood to be an individual, not a group, must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., and must not have any outstanding obligations to CMA at the time of application.


The new work must

  • be of substantial length: one extended work or a collection of shorter pieces that together form a larger work.
  • be written for 2-10 musicians;
  • be scored for one musician per part;
  • result in a printed score, lead sheet, or other form of graphic notation; and
  • feature improvisation.

Previously written works, works-in-progress, arrangements, chamber opera, and/or incidental music are not supported by this program. If the new work will be written as part of a multi-disciplinary project, it must also be a stand-alone work for performance. New Jazz Works funds musical artists only; non-musical artists are not supported by this program.


A New Jazz Works grant is made up of four components:

  1. Core The Core phase includes the creation of a new work, a world premiere, and one additional performance of the work. The two performances must take place in different venues in the United States or its territories. Funding (up to $19,000) includes a composer fee of $9,000 for composing the work; and an ensemble honorarium of $1,000 per musician, including the composer if performing with the group, for rehearsals and the two performances. The total number of musicians including the composer must not exceed 10. Core phase must be completed by December 31, 2022.
  2. Continued Life Funding ($15,000) supports either three public performances in different venues or two public performances in different venues plus a distribution-quality audio or video recording. Activities may take place in the U.S. and/or abroad. Continued Life phase begins after the completion of Core phase. Continued Life activities must be completed by June 30, 2024.
  3. Administrative Support Funding ($3,000) may be used at the grantee’s discretion to engage a booking agent to assist with scheduling performances, to help defray expenses associated with a recording of the new work, or for other administrative functions identified by the grantee. The Administrative Support phase must be completed by June 30, 2024.
  4. CMA National Conference CMA offers a complimentary registration for the ensemble leader to attend one CMA National Conference. Travel/hotel subsidies are available, on a limited basis, for ensemble leaders who live outside the New York metropolitan area. Must be used during the grant period: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2024.


CMA contracts with the Grantee Ensemble Leader or their business entity on behalf of their ensemble. The Grantee Ensemble Leader must provide government-required documentation showing their U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status. Grant funds are taxable income; grantees must comply with all applicable city, state, and federal laws, ordinances, codes, and regulations affecting the project. The grantee is solely responsible for management of the project and disbursement and reporting of grant income.


New Jazz Works applications are reviewed by an independent panel of professional jazz musicians; CMA staff and board do not participate in the deliberations. Representative list of 2016-2020 CMA panelists

The panel’s evaluation of audio work samples, through anonymized listening, determines which applications advance to the final round where grants are awarded. This process conceals the identities of the composer, ensemble, and ensemble members, as well as the titles of the tracks and score submitted for the evaluation process. Composer work samples are evaluated for the composer’s skill and originality in composing, and ability to arrange jazz music for a small ensemble. Ensemble audio samples are scored for the technical skill and artistic merit of the instrumentalists, and cohesiveness of the ensemble in performing scored and improvised music. The audio summary table in the application form serves as a guide to listening rounds.


General Instructions CMA uses the online application system Submittable. Create a free Submittable account if you do not already have one at

  • You may type directly into the online form or draft your responses in an offline document and cut/paste your information into the online application.
  • To save the work you have done on your application, you must click the “Save Draft” button at the bottom of the form before exiting. You may return to your saved application to continue working on it by following the log-in instructions. Submittable maintains your draft for 21 days. CMA recommends that you also save your draft in an offline document as backup.
  • When you are ready to submit your application, you must click “Submit.” Once submitted, further changes to the application cannot be made.
  • Incomplete applications are ineligible for panel review.

Audio Summary Table Within the application, you must provide instrumentation, track length, and cue times to guide the panel’s listening. Do not include the name of the composer, musicians, track name or album title.


Audio Uploads

The audio samples should demonstrate the composer’s best work and the ensemble’s best playing. The panel generally listens to 2-3 minutes of an audio file. Audio samples must be uploaded to the online application. Acceptable file types are mp3, m4a.

  • Submit audio featuring only small ensemble music (2-10 musicians), with up to 5 minutes of a single work on each file.
  • Each track must feature scored and improvised sections.
  • Each track may be edited and/or excerpted.
  • Music by a solo artist or an ensemble of more than 10 musicians is ineligible.
  • Audio files may feature music from a commercial release, live concert and/or a studio/home recording. Please be advised: Poor recording quality affects the panelists’ ability to judge the artistic merit of the application.
    • Audio 1 and 2: Composer Samples must each feature a single work or an excerpt from that work by the composer for a small ensemble (need not be performed by applicant ensemble).
    • Audio 3 and 4: Ensemble Samples must each feature a single work or an excerpt from that work performed by the applicant ensemble or majority of its members.

Score Upload for Audio 1

First Composer Sample must be accompanied by a relevant section of the printed score, lead sheet, or graphic notation. Score for Composer Sample 1 must be uploaded to the online application. Remove name(s) of the work, the composer, musicians and/or publisher on this document prior to uploading. Acceptable file types: pdf, doc, docx.

To Submit an Application

  • Go to and click on “2021 New Jazz Works Application.”
  • Complete all required text boxes and tables.
    • Prepare your score and audio sample attachments.
  • Save files as indicated below:
    • 4 Audio files: Applicant Ensemble Name-Audio # (e.g. XYZ Ensemble-Audio 1);
      • Acceptable file types: mp3, m4a.
    • Audio 1 score: Score Upload;
      • Acceptable file types: pdf
  • Upload attachments to application.
  • When complete, sign and date the application.
  • Click “Submit” to send application to CMA; you will receive a confirmation email.



Program: Gargi Shindé, (212)242-2022, x103

Membership: Geysa Castro(212)242-2022, x114

Technical: Submittable Help Center

Application Deadline: February 12,2021,9:00 PM ET. Late submissions will not be accepted. Incomplete applications are ineligible. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications in advance of the deadline to avoid any last-minute complications.

CHAMBER MUSIC AMERICA, the national network of ensemble music professionals, was founded in 1977 to develop, strengthen, and support the chamber music community. With a membership of nearly 6,000, including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions. In addition to its funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to instrument and other insurances, conferences, seminars, and several publications including Chamber Music magazine and the weekly e-newsletter, Accent.

The mission of the DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.