Contact us:
Follow us:
JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM is a 501(c)(3) organization and operates entirely on donations. Your help is both needed and greatly appreciated

Rules and Information

Thank you for your interest in the JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM scholarship. JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM is a California non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting jazz education in the Bay Area and promoting the continuation of the jazz art form. JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM promotes concerts featuring famous jazz musicians from all over the world in a variety of venues in California, but is best known for the concerts it promotes in the ballroom of the former Bing Crosby home in Hillsborough, CA. 


As part of this mission, JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM has created a scholarship to support Bay Area student musicians. Three $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to promising young jazz musicians in the Bay Area for continuing their jazz music studies. Rules of the application process and eligibility rules are as follows:


The competition is open to high school jazz instrumentalists in the Bay Area between the ages of 14-18. The Bay Area is defined as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties.  Applicants must be under 18 years of age and have the application submission approved by a parent or legal guardian.  

Applicants must be enrolled in a Bay Area High School.

Applicants must be able to attend a performance at the Ballroom in Hillsborough, CA in April 2020 alongside world-renowned jazz musicians. 

Applicants must complete an entry form available here, a personal statement, and include a recording (does not need to be a professional recording) as further described below. All submissions must be received by December 7, 2019 to be considered.

Applicants must be legal residents of the United States or one of its official territories.  


All recordings must be recorded in digital format (to be submitted electronically or on flash drive) and include the following:

Three audition pieces

·       one up-tempo standard​

·       one ballad standard 

·       one blues piece


One paragraph explaining the applicant’s background in jazz, favorite artists and musical influences, future goals and plans in music and jazz study, and the use of the scholarship money (i.e. private jazz study, tuition for a jazz focused music program etc). 

All submissions will become the property of JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM and will not be returned.  All of the submission information will be subject to the JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM privacy policy. In submitting an application, applicants are agreeing to allow JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM to publicize applicant’s name, school, instrument played, and musical selections if applicant is selected as a finalist.  

Jazz trios and ensembles can be used as accompaniment as well as solo recordings and recordings with a backing track. The recording submitted does not need to be a professional grade studio recording. The only material on the recording should be the recorded tracks. 


Only one application and recording can be submitted per person.  

Three finalists will be picked by a panel of three professional jazz musicians and awarded $1,500 each to further their music studies. The competition will culminate with the winners performing alongside some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians on April 4, 2020. The panel will be looking for some of the following things when blind judging the applications: 


- The lyrical delivery of a melody

- Musicality

- Rhythmic feel

- Clarity, melodic development, harmonic understanding, and creativity within improvised solos

- A display of a working knowledge in playing a jazz standard 

The entire submission should be no more than 15 minutes long

This scholarship awards are based solely on the recorded performance and interest in jazz showcased through the written submission. Neither academic performance nor financial need is considered.

There is no fee to apply. If you are chosen as a finalist and transportation to the Ballroom is a financial hardship, we will be happy to offset transportation costs.  More details regarding the final performance will be provided to finalists when finalist decisions are made.  

The students that aren’t finalists will be invited to join a database of students invited to free ballroom workshops throughout the school year. 

In addition, the winners’ respective high schools will also receive $1000 to support the ongoing development of their music programs and departments (i.e., an excursion, a musical project, instrument upgrades). 

All material can be submitted electronically to or mailed to: JAZZ AT THE BALLROOM, 1325 Howard Avenue #339, Burlingame, CA 94010


December 7, 2019 - Applications due 

January 13, 2020 - Winners announced

April 4, 2020 - Finalist/winners concert