Los Angeles, CA, May 26, 2015: To honor the legacy of the trailblazing musician, former Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) Co-Music Director and ASCAP board member, George Duke, the SJO has recently opened the George Duke Commissioning Prize competition to all direct ASCAP composer members, with a submission deadline of July 17th. The Music Advisory Board of the SJO will select the winning composer, who will be commissioned to write a new orchestral score for the SJO blending jazz & classical music – and more. The newly commissioned work will be premiered by the 67-piece SJO in 2016/17 and entered in to the SJO’s catalog of symphonic jazz commissions.

The late composer and keyboard player, George Duke (1946 – 2013), was a peerless musical innovator and creator, as well as a mentor to many. His output as a recording artist was vast, from collaborations with Cannonball Adderly to Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa to Dianne Reeves, to over 40 albums as a solo artist. Simply put, George Duke had a major impact on the landscape of jazz, r&b, funk, pop and classical music.

Created in 2002, the 67-member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to blending the worlds of jazz and classical music through its commissioning, performing and educational programs. Led by Music Director Mitch Glickman, the ensemble has performed throughout Southern California with leading guest artists including Dave Grusin, Christian McBride, Raul Midon, Lee Ritenour, The Yellowjackets, and George Duke.
The Symphonic Jazz Orchestra/George Duke Commissioning Prize is made possible in part by a grant from The ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Fund and the Bart Howard Fund.
For eligibility and details how to apply for the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra/George Duke Commissioning Prize, please visit www.SJOmusic.org or call 310-876-8130.