The U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition

The U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition

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 27, 2024 at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus jazz festival.  The concert begins at 7pm, and is free and open to the public.  

Download the flyer here:  Letter / Tabloid

2024 Winners

Congratulations to our 2024 Solo Competition winners Nareg Boghosian and Brady Markin! 

Nareg Boghosian- College Division

Nareg Boghosian (20) is pursuing his third year as an undergraduate student in the Jazz Studies program at George Mason University, concentrating in guitar performance.  He has performed with ensembles such as the Mason Jazz Ensemble, Mason Jazz Combo I, Mason Jazz Latin American Ensemble, and the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble rhythm section. He has also performed with the Jazzworx Big Band, the NJW All Star Alumni Big Band, and the Mathuin Smith Jazz Orchestra.  Boghosian has performed at Blues Alley DC, Mr. Henry’s DC, Jammin' Java, Jazz Education Network Conference (2023 in Orlando, 2024 in New Orleans), and the Virginia Music Educator’s Association (VMEA) Conference (2023 in Richmond), Mason Harris Theatre, and Mason Center for the Arts

Brady Markin- High School Division 

Brady Markin is a jazz saxophonist hailing from northern Virginia, currently a senior at Chantilly High School. Brady began playing saxophone at the age of ten and grew a passion for jazz when he was thirteen through the National Jazz Workshop led by Matt Niess. Armed with this early introduction to jazz, Brady achieved first chair in the All-Virginia Jazz Ensemble for all three saxophones across his high school career. Brady proudly sits in the bari sax chair for the Mathuin Smith Jazz Orchestra and the NJW All-Stars, was selected as an alternate musician for NYO Jazz, and composes and arranges for his own ensembles. Outside of music, Brady is also an avid hiker. Currently studying under Dave Doescher, Brady intends to continue his musical pursuits this fall at the University of North Texas.

Past Winners

Collegiate Division

Year Winner School
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

Year Winner School
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