As the premier jazz ensemble of The United States Army, The U.S. Army Blues is a group of historical importance whose repertoire honors and remembers some of the most important eras in American history. Comprised of exceptional jazz musicians from across the nation, the Army Blues strives to fulfill its mission through public concerts and education outreach; representing the professional excellence of the Army while preserving the tradition of America’s unique art form: jazz.
In an effort to further this mission and highlight the excellence of the next generation of jazz musicians, the Army Blues hosts an annual solo competition to recognize and celebrate talented young musicians.
The winning soloists will be featured with The Army Blues in a live concert and recording on April, 2024.
All application materials are due on February 09, 2024. Winners will be notified no later than February 23, 2024.
Questions? E-mail SSG James Collins
- Eligible instruments: saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, and vibraphone.
- Click the “Apply Here!” button to submit a link (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.) to a video recording of the applicant performing the required musical selections with live rhythm section, play-along recording or metronome. Please ensure the video is viewable without a login. For the most privacy, we recommend YouTube “unlisted” privacy settings. Do not e-mail video files.
High School Division
- Open to U.S. citizens currently enrolled in DC-area high schools (grades 9 - 12), to include the District of Columbia, Prince Georges Co., Montgomery Co., Howard Co., Anne Arundel Co., Baltimore Co., Fairfax Co., Fairfax City, City of Falls Church, Prince William Co., Loudoun Co., Arlington Co., Alexandria City. Applications may be accepted from students who do not live in these jurisdictions, but have a connection to them through either a musical organization or a private teacher.
- Open to U.S. citizens age 26 and younger as of May 1, 2024, currently enrolled in a college, university, or conservatory in the United States, or who graduated from a degree program in December 2023.
- In a Sentimental Mood (Duke Ellington) Head and one improvised chorus; Ballad tempo
- Sandu(Clifford Brown) Head and improvised choruses; 140-150 bpm
- The total recorded submission should not exceed 8 minutes in length (no out heads necessary)
- Moment's Notice (John Coltrane) - Head and improvised choruses; quarter note = 230+ BPM
- The Very Thought of You(Ray Noble) - Head and one improvised chorus; ballad tempo
- Whisper Not (Benny Golson) - Head and improvised choruses; quarter note = 120-130 BPM
- The total recorded submission should not exceed 12 minutes in length (no out heads necessary)
|2019||Brendan Malloy (Guitar)||The University of North Texas (Denton, TX)|
|2020||Liam Sutcliffe (Trumpet)||Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)|
|2021||Austin Ford (Trumpet)||The University of North Texas (Denton, TX)|
|2022||Ben Turner (Guitar)||Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)|
|2023||Christian Ertl (Saxophone)||Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)|
High School Division
|2019||Nate Stanley (Guitar)||Broadneck High School (Arnold, MD)|
|2020||Ronan Zwa (Saxophone)||The Bullis School (Potomac, MD)|
|2021||Jonathan Orellana-Sanchez (Trumpet)||Westfield High School (Chantilly, VA)|
|2022||Aiden Interrante (Trumpet)||Mt. Hebron High School (Ellicott City, MD)|
|2023||Elijah Lester (Piano)||Yorktown High School (Arlington, VA)|
2019 U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition Winner Brendan Malloy
2019 U.S. Blues Solo Competition Winner Nate Stanley
The 2020 US Army Blues Solo Competition
The 2021 US Army Blues Solo Competition
The 2022 US Army Blues Solo Competition