2022 New Jazz Works Guidelines

Deadline: May 16, 2022, 9:00 PM ET

Notification: July 2022

Grant Period: July 2022 - June 2025


A component of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project,
New Jazz Works is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


Since 2000, Chamber Music America has commissioned 265 original jazz works. The New Jazz Works program provides grants to jazz ensembles based in the U.S., its territories including Puerto Rico, and Indian country to create, perform, and record new jazz works. The new work may be composed by the ensemble leader or a member of the ensemble/collective. 


The Board of Directors of Chamber Music America has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization's work. New Jazz Works invites applications from a diverse group of practitioners and composers representing race, gender, age-range and abilities, as well as a wide range of jazz styles. CMA’s goal, through its panel process, is to arrive at a final slate of grantees that is representative of the diversity within the field of jazz. Learn more about CMA's Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity



CMA’s supports the small ensemble music community. Only ensembles consisting of 2-10 musicians (including guest artists) may apply to this program.


An ensemble is eligible if it

  • is a professional composer-led or collective jazz ensemble; student groups are not eligible;

  • is a current Ensemble-level CMA member;

  • is based in the U.S., its territories or Indian country, and the leader is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder);

  • includes improvisation as an integral part of composition and performance;

  • has no overdue reports or financial disbursements from prior CMA grants;

  • has waited 12 months from completion of any previous CMA commissioning grant.


An ensemble may apply to either CMA’s 2022 New Jazz Works program or the 2022 Classical Commissioning program, but not to both. Similarly, a composer may appear on only one application in either program.



The composer may be either the bandleader or a member of the ensemble/collective. The composer is an individual, not a group. The composer must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and must have fulfilled any outstanding obligations from prior CMA grants at the time of application. 



The commissioned work must 

  • be of substantial length: one extended work or shorter pieces that together form a larger work. 

  • feature improvisation as an integral part of the composition. 

  • be written for 2-10 musicians; the total number of musicians including the performing composer and guest artists must not exceed 10. 

  • be scored for one musician per part; 

  • result in a printed score, lead sheet, or other form of graphic notation or non-codified documentation. 

Previously written works, works-in-progress, arrangements, chamber opera, and/or incidental music are not supported by this program. If the commissioned work will be written as part of a multi-disciplinary project, it must also be a stand-alone work for performance. New Jazz Works funds musical artists only; non-musical artists are not supported by this program. 



A New Jazz Works commission is made up of four components. Public performances of the work are a vital part of the New Jazz Works grant:


1. Composition and U.S. World Premiere

This phase includes the creation of the new work, its virtual or in-person world premiere, and one additional performance. Performances, if in-person, must take place in different venues in the United States, its territories or Indian Country. Funding (up to $19,000) includes a composer fee of $9,000 for composing the work, and an ensemble honorarium of $1,000 per musician, including the composer if performing with the group, for rehearsals and performance of the work. The creation and premiere performances must be completed by December 31, 2023. 


2. Continued Life of the New Work

Funding ($15,000) supports two additional public performances of the work (in different venues if in-person), and a distribution-quality audio and/or video recording. Continued Life in-person activities may take place in the U.S. and/or abroad. All activities must be completed by June 30, 2025. 


3. Administrative Support

Funding ($3,000) may be used at the grantee’s discretion to engage a booking agent/manager/publicist, to help defray expenses associated with a commercial a/v release of the commissioned work, copying costs or for other administrative functions identified by the grantee. Administrative Support expenses must be disbursed by June 30, 2025.


4. CMA National Conference

CMA offers a complimentary registration for the ensemble leader to attend one CMA National Conference. For in-person attendance, travel/hotel subsidies are available, on a limited basis, for ensemble leaders who live outside the New York metropolitan area. Must be used during the grant period: July 1, 2022–June 30, 2025.



CMA contracts with the Grantee Ensemble Leader or their business entity on behalf of their ensemble. The Grantee Ensemble Leader must provide government-issued documentation of their U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status. Grant funds are taxable income: Grantees must comply with all applicable city, state, and federal laws, ordinances, codes, and regulations affecting the project. The grantee is solely responsible for management of the project, and disbursement and reporting of grant income.



New Jazz Works applications are reviewed by an independent panel of professional jazz musicians; CMA staff and board do not participate in the deliberations. Representative list of 2017- 2021 CMA panelists.


The panel reviews audio samples presented anonymously and determines which applications advance to the final round where grants are awarded. This process conceals the names of the composer, ensemble, and ensemble members, as well as the titles of the tracks and score submitted for the evaluation process. Composer audio samples are evaluated for the composer’s skill and originality in composing and arranging jazz music for a small ensemble. Ensemble audio samples are evaluated for the technical and artistic strength of individual instrumentalists, and cohesiveness of the ensemble in performing scored and improvised music. The audio summary table in the application form serves as a guide for the panelists.



General Instructions

CMA uses Submittable, an online application system. To begin an application, create a free Submittable account or log in to an existing account at https://cma.submittable.com.

  • Enter information directly into the online form or draft your responses in an offline document and cut/paste your information to the online application. CMA recommends that you save your offline backup application draft.

  • To save the work you have done on your online application, you must click the "Save Draft" at the bottom of the form before exiting. You may return to your saved application to continue working on it by following the log-in instructions. 

  • When you are ready to submit your application, you must click “Submit.” Once submitted, further changes to the application cannot be made.

  • Submittable does not accept applications submitted after the deadline. Incomplete applications are ineligible for panel review. 


Audio Summary Table

Complete the Audio Summary Table in the application, and provide instrumentation, track length, and cue times to guide the panel’s listening for each submitted track. 


Audio Uploads

The audio samples should demonstrate the composer’s strongest compositions and the ensemble’s best playing. The panel typically listens to 2-3 minutes of an audio file. Audio samples must be uploaded to the online application.  Upload only mp3, m4a files.

  • Submit audio featuring only small ensemble music (2-10 musicians), with up to 5 minutes of a single work on each file. Large ensemble music exceeding 10 musicians or solo recordings are ineligible for review.

  • Each track must feature scored and improvised sections. 

  • Works longer than 5 minutes, must be edited and/or excerpted to highlight specific sections.

  • Audio files may feature music from a professional commercial release, live concert or a home recording. Please be advised: Poor recording quality affects the panelists’ ability to judge the artistic merit of the application. 

    • Audio 1 and 2: Composer Samples must each feature a single original composition by the composer on the application or excerpts from that composition for a small ensemble (need not be performed by applicant ensemble).

  • Audio 3 and 4: Ensemble Samples must each feature a single work or an excerpt from that work performed by the applicant ensemble or majority of its members (need not be original compositions).


Score Upload for Audio 1

One Composer Sample must be accompanied by a relevant section of the printed score, lead sheet, or graphic notation. Score for Composer Sample 1 must be uploaded to the online application. Acceptable file types: pdf only.


To Submit an Application 

  • Go to cma.submittable.com

  • Enter required information in all text boxes and tables. Next, prepare your score and audio sample attachments. 

  • Save files as indicated below: 

    • 4 Audio files: Applicant Ensemble Name-Audio 1; Applicant Ensemble Name-Audio 2; Applicant Ensemble Name-Audio3; Applicant Ensemble Name-Audio 4

      • Acceptable file types: mp3, m4a. 

    • Audio 1 score: Applicant Ensemble Name-Score

      • Acceptable file types: Pdf

  • Upload attachments to application. 

  • When complete, sign and date the application. 

  • Click “Submit” to send application to CMA; you will receive a confirmation email. 



Program Support: grants@chamber-music.org

Membership Support: Geysa Castro, Director of Membership Services, gcastro@chamber-music.org 

Technical Support: Submittable Help - For Submitters | Submittable


Application Deadline: May 16, 2022, 9:00 PM ET

Late submissions are not accepted. Incomplete applications are ineligible. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications 24-hours in advance of the deadline to avoid any last-minute complications.

CHAMBER MUSIC AMERICA, the national network of ensemble music professionals, was founded in 1977 to develop, strengthen, and support the chamber music community. With a membership including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions. In addition to its funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to instrument insurances, conferences, seminars, and publications including Chamber Music magazine and weekly e-newsletter, Accent.


The mission of the DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.