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Pat Metheny, Danilo Perez, And Jean-Luc Ponty Select Jazz Winners In International Songwriting Competition (ISC)

Jazzed Magazine • News • May 19, 2016

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ocdThe International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced its 2015 winners selected out of 18,500 entries from 120 countries worldwide.

Taking home First Place in the Jazz category is Omar Sosa (Camaguey, Cuba) for his song “Sad Meeting.” Second Place is awarded to Carl Bartlett, Jr. (Queens, NY, USA) for “Quantum Leaps (And Bounds),” and Third Place goes to David Smith (Brooklyn, NY, USA) for “Halloween Song.” 

The Jazz category continues to be extremely competitive as the depth of talent is extraordinary,” says Candace Avery, ISC Founder and Director. “The winners embody everything that ISC is looking for, and it is a privilege to honor them. ” Established in 2002, ISC awards more than $150,000 in cash and prizes to amateur and professional songwriters around the world.

Garnering First Place is Cuban artist Omar Sosa for his song “Sad Meeting.” Sosa has been nominated for seven GRAMMY awards and two BBC World Music Awards; he is also the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Smithsonian and the Afro-Caribbean Jazz Album of the Year award from the Jazz Journalists Association. Sosa entwines the expressive traditions of Africa and the Americas in a unique cosmopolitan voice, articulating a brilliant, joyous, and thoroughly contemporary global jazz idiom. He fuses a wide range of jazz, world music, and electronic elements with his Afro-Cuban roots to create a fresh and original urban sound – all with a Latin jazz heart. His career embodies the expansive outlook of a visionary artist who has taken Monk’s uncompromising spirit to heart, while working ceaselessly to craft and project a singular, contemporary sound.

Second Place is awarded to the exciting and innovative saxophonist Carl Bartlett, Jr. for his song “Quantum Leaps (And Bounds).” Hailing from Queens, New York, he marked his arrival onto the Jazz scene with the 2011 release of his critically acclaimed debut CD, Hopeful. He has since emerged as one of the leading lights in the Post Bop/Straight Ahead/Contemporary Jazz world as both a player and composer. “A tone that only the greats have the ability to attain” raves All About Jazz, describing the newness and profound sonic nature of Bartlett, Jr.’s cathartic, rich and round alto sax sound. He consistently performs with his own ensemble, The Carl Bartlett, Jr. Quartet/Quintet, at many of today’s preeminent Jazz clubs, cultural venues, and festivals.

Third Place honors go to David Smith, a Canadian-born trumpeter based in New York City, for his song “Halloween Song.” He has released three albums of original music as a leader: Impetus (2015), Anticipation (2010) and Circumstance (2006). While the roots of his music are in classic jazz, he combines elements of classical harmony and counterpoint resulting in a unique compositional voice. His approach to the trumpet is intervallic and harmonically sophisticated yet lyrical and emotional. In addition to his own recordings, he is featured as a sideman on over fifty recordings for Columbia Records, EMI, Motown, Fresh Sound New Talent, Steeplechase, Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records and several smaller labels and independent releases. He has recorded for Harry Connick Jr., Alan Ferber, Jon Gordon and Tom Jones, among others. He has a Master of Arts Degree in Jazz Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York, and is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.

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