European jazz contest

European Jazz Contest is a competition for new talent run by the Saint Louis College of Music in Rome and aimed at groups of young jazz musicians (instrumentalists only or with voices) from all over Europe who propose original projects. Over the years hundreds of groups have decided to participate in the competition and compare themselves with the sounds and backgrounds of their foreign peers.

The main goal of the new talent competition and initiative is to promote original music by young musicians, using jazz as a context for research and comparison for new avant-garde movements. All genres of non-main-stream jazz music, from Free Jazz interpretations to experimental and electronic music are welcome. European Jazz Contest aspires to create a stage for undiscovered, new and fresh music.

Several collaborations with musical institutes and conservatories have been renewed and amplified so as to ensure a large participation of international groups and so as to place the contest in a fertile context of cultural exchange.

In 2013 the contest inaugurated, alongside international collaborations with European music institutes and conservatories, a direct partnership with the Conservatorium Maastricht, which hosted the final of the 2013 edition of the contest in the beautiful Theater aan het Vrijthof theater in the center of the city. For the 2017 edition, several partnerships have been renewed, including the Civici corsi di Jazz in Milan, and international partners such as: Hogeschool Gent, Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig and the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp.

The competition will consist of two different stages: pre-selection of bands based on a demo containing 4 original songs and 2 standards, and the finals to be held in Rome on November 20 at 9 pm at the beautiful Casa del Jazz in Rome. During the finals, the 4 finalist bands will play for about 30 minutes each.

As a prize, the winner will receive a live recording of their EP during the final concert, which will be released through the Saint Louis Jazz Collection label and distributed worldwide via popular digital streaming platforms. The winner will also have the opportunity to play in 6 live shows, organized by Saint Louis, in Italy and other European countries.

Participation is open to all types of jazz projects, with no limits: from traditional, to avant-garde, to experimental, in any language or dialect.

However, the project must contain one or more of the following features:

  • Original compositions
  • Original rearrangements of traditional music from the country of origin

The judging panel, headed by M° Stefano Mastruzzi, will first be composed for pre-selection by Saint Louis musicians, journalists and industry professionals. For the finals, judges from other Italian and European cities will also participate, including members of the Scuola Civica di Milano Musica Oggi, Conservatorium Maastricht, Hogeschool Gent, the Hochschule für Musik und theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig and the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp.




Zadeno Trio

Last Nov. 20, the EUROPEAN JAZZ CONTEST -VIII Edition 2017, an international competition sponsored by the Saint Louis College of Music in Rome that awards original projects by European bands and artists, concluded at the Casa del Jazz auditorium.

The winner of the 2017 edition, according to the international jury made up of musicians and professors from Europe’s leading conservatories, is ZADENO TRIO, a very young group consisting of Claudio Jr De Rosa, sax (class of 1992), Alessio Bruno, double bass (class of 1985) and Jacopo Zanette, drums (class of 1989).


Zadeno Trio, a formation formed in the Netherlands in the summer of 2014, is a project led by Neapolitan saxophonist Claudio Jr De Rosa and completed by Alessio Bruno on double bass and Jacopo Zanette on drums. The trio’s sound predominantly marked by a traditional post-bop language has over time acquired elements of great modernity, first being influenced by prestigious trios such as those of Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, and Elvin Jones and later by ensembles led by musicians such as Chris Potter and Joshua Redman.

The three musicians, coming from different musical backgrounds, met in Holland, and have performed in about 90 concerts in Italy, Belgium, Holland, and Romania. Winners of several international awards, they recorded and released their first record “Holes in the Ground” on “Emme Record Label” in February 2016. All musicians participate in the project as composers and arrangers, continually bringing in new blood, ideas and musical material.


Woody Back 4

In 2014, the jazz quartet Woody Back 4 made history by winning the European Jazz Contest. Their music enchants with a mix of creativity and artistry, taking listeners on a compelling sonic journey.

With a unique combination of enveloping melodies and surprising improvisations, they have won over audiences and critics alike.

Their talent and passion for jazz stood out, leaving an indelible mark on the European music scene. Woody Back 4 continues to inspire and transform the jazz landscape, proving that true innovation can come from tradition.

Oscar Antoli: clarinet, bass clarinet, composition, Stefan Dickbauer: clarinet, composition, Daniel Moser: bass clarinet, composition, Leonhard Skorupa: bass clarinet, composition


Mario Nappi trio

Ihe trio is composed in addition to Mario Nappi on piano by two other young musicians, Corrado Cirillo on double bass and Luca Mignano on drums, a young, freshly perceived trio with improvisational geometries that draw on the language of Afro-American jazz bringing it back to the present day with a certain naturalness and maturity; the end result is a continuous syncretism between Afro-American, Neapolitan tradition, and modernity, between interplay and breath of the trio in its totality as a single living being, a late Romantic compositional vein prevails, testifying to the Eurocultivated matrix that unites the three young people of the national jazz scene. A breath of fresh air and new sounds.

Winners of the Piacenza Jazz Festival 2013 Chicco Bettinardi Prize new Italian jazz talents and audience prize, winners of the 2013 European Jazz Contest held in Maastricht (Netherlands) and 2013 Edition winners.
Mario Nappi is also the winner of the Best Soloist award at the 2013 Fara Festival; Bergamo Jazz 2014 and Best Arrangement on Given Theme.

LISTEN | Mario Nappi trio – Vela




Jakub Skowronski = sax, Wojtek Swieca = guitar, Sebastian Zawadzki = piano, Asger Nordtorp Petersen = electric bass, Janosch Pangritz = drums

Hamburg, Germany
International Jazzpocalypse – 2012 Edition, pushing jazz beyond its boundaries! A collaboration between four young musicians and composers from three different countries: Poland, Denmark and Germany.
The musical influences of the three countries come together to create a Jazzpocalypse!

On stage they paint a broader sonic picture, using moments of spontaneous free jazz alongside carefully composed pieces, employing both quiet, fragile, lyrical colors and noisy electro-punk textures. The “International Jazzpocalypse” met exploring the limits of their common language, jazz, at the “Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts” in southern Denmark.



Benoit Berthe Back 4et

BENOIT BERTHE Class of 1986 wins 2011 edition, discovered jazz at age 11, joining the jazz section of the Collège de Marciac. Following this positive experience, he decided to learn more about the genre at DEM Jazz at ENM des Landes, graduating in 2005 with merit.

Continuing his studies in the same direction, he joined Didier Lockwood’s CMDL in 2006. It is during this year that he meets the musicians who will later be part of the “Back” 4tet. He began traveling, continuing his studies with Stéphane Guillaume, Pierrick Pedron, Sylvain Beuf, André Viléger, Benoit Sourisse, Olivier Temime, Rémy Vignolo, and Manuel Marchès.

LISTEN | Benoit Berthe Back 4et – Travel’s Appleal


Bianculli trio

Piero bianculli = piano, Jens kirpestein = drums, Boris oud = bass guitar

2010 edition, the group was formed by Piero Bianculli, Italian pianist-composer.
The three musicians, all students at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music (CODARTS), happened to find themselves in a musical click during a Jam session organized by the school.

From this day “Bianculli trio” was born. The compositions are written by Piero Bianculli. In the themes you can hear a wide influence of musical genres, Bianculli trio in fact has a very specific and unique sound. It could be classified as “Romantic “but certainly full of improvisation therefore unexpected surprises!



Ipocontrio wins European Jazz Contest 2009 is a Salerno jazz trio consisting of Bruno Salicone on piano, Francesco Galatro on double bass and Armando Luongo on drums.

Their jazz is classical, in the fullest sense of the term, because it encompasses all the different fires that animated postwar world jazz. The famous standard “The end of a love affair” (brought to success by Billie Holiday, of all people) is here ironically declined in reverse, given the young age of the musicians.

LISTEN | Ipocontrio – The beginning of a love affair


Lala & Sade

The project was also born out of the friendship and collaboration between two musicians, Laura Lala (singer, author of some music and all lyrics) and Sade Mangiaracina (pianist and author of some music), who discovered that they shared, in addition to their love for jazz and improvisation, the same passion for “songs” and that they attached great value to the lyrics, their interpretation and composition in English and in Sicilian, a dialect that belongs to the culture and roots of both of them.

LISTEN | Lala & Sade – Pure songs

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