Discover the jazz greats of tomorrow, today!

The divine Sarah Vaughan—Newark’s greatest musical gift to the world—got her start as the winner of a talent competition. Now, her legacy is honored in this 8th annual contest, also known as the SASSY Awards, which gives outstanding jazz singers a platform for embarking on a career in the music business.

Gifted young contestants from around the world are evaluated on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation and ability to swing. The winner receives a $5,000 cash prize and a performance slot at the 2020 Newport Jazz Festival.

Past winners have included Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, Laurin Talese and Quiana Lynell. This year’s event, the finale of the 2019 TD James Moody Jazz Festival, will be hosted by WBGO-FM’s Gary Walker.

2019 Contestants:

2019 Judges:

  • Christian McBride
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater
  • Jane Monheit
  • Monifa Brown
  • Matt Pierson

“Rightfully one of the most anticipated events in jazz.”
–Christian McBride

“Provides a platform for today’s outstanding jazz singers and gives audiences an early glimpse at tomorrow’s jazz stars.”


Sponsored by The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers