|Jarek Smietana (photo courtesy of Smietana Competition)|
Mary James writes
The second International Jarek Śmietana Jazz Guitar Competition has just been announced and entrants should apply by 30 April. It is in honour of an indispensible figure in Polish jazz, the guitarist Jarosław (known as Jarek) Śmietana. The Jury includes Mike Stern and John Abercrombie.
Prize money totals around £7000 plus a special prize founded by Anna and Alicja Śmietana.
Entry requirements: a short biography, two audio files and one video file need to be submitted online by 30th April 2017, accompanied by a non-refundable 30 Euro Registration Fee. Entrants must be under 35 years of age. The organisers accept all types of guitars, including acoustic and electric instruments. Candidates will be informed by 15th May if they have progressed through to the next round.
Costs: The semi-finalists and the six finalists who are invited to Kraków will need to cover their own expenses.
Requirements after entry: An important part of the competition will be for the contestants to have included tunes by Jarek Śmietana into both their semi-final and final programmes. Entrants must be under 35 years of age. The organisers accept all types of guitars, including acoustic and electric instruments.
The competition: The Semi-Final auditions and Final rounds will be held in Kraków on 28th June – 1st July. There will be a gala concert finale, and also jam sessions.
In 2015, there were 54 entrants from 21 countries. The winner of the inaugural competition was Szymon Mika from Poland, a musician presently gaining recognition both in Poland and overseas , and who has since recorded an album featuring drummer Ziv Ravitz, and who now studies with Wolfgang Muthspiel.
Mary James, who lives in Gloucestershire, is a jazz promoter working with Maciek Pysz and others. Twitter @maryleamington