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The First Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Contest


Non-profit jazz label Resonance Records is announcing the launch of the Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Contest, and is now offering sponsorship opportunities at various levels. Open to contestants age 14-33, the contest invites guitarists to submit audio and videos of their guitar playing to the contest website. Indaba Music is the technology partner and will build the contest website.

The contest will culminate with a concert at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City on October 10, featuring jazz guitar great Pat Martino, where the 5 finalists will compete and winners will also be announced. The first prize winner will receive $5,000.00. The judges will include Pat Martino, journalist Bill Milkowski, WBGO Radio music director Gary Walker, Jazz producer/historian Todd Barkan, Robert Montgomery, son of Wes Montgomery, and George Klabin, founder of Rising Jazz Stars/Resonance Records.

“The Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Contest is of course named for perhaps the most important and influential guitarist in modern jazz history, and this contest will celebrate the young talent that shares our passion for this beautiful and important musical genre,” Klabin said. “Not only do we encourage any interested young jazz guitarists age 14-33 to enter, we also welcome sponsorships from any companies who recognize the importance of preserving the health of jazz music by encouraging the participation of younger musicians.”

Wes Montgomery’s son Robert, has given his full support to the Contest: “As Principal of the Wes Montgomery Estate, and as a proud son, I am pleased to support Resonance Records, and the Rising Jazz Stars, in the first Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition. This contest honors the great tradition of jazz guitar established by my father.”

The Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Contest will kick off on April 15 when the contest website goes live at Opportunities are available for music retailers and manufacturers to sponsor the contest or donate products. For anyone interested in sponsoring, please contact George Klabin at

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