Next Jazz Legacy Opens Applications For Third Year of Mentoring Emerging Women & Non-Binary Jazz Musicians

Following a transformative first two years providing invaluable guidance and mentorship to emerging women and non-binary musicians, Next Jazz Legacy is thrilled to announce that they will be accepting applications for their 2024 cycle beginning on August 31st. Applications will be due by October 16, 2023, and will be submitted at New Music USA’s website here.

Focused on increasing opportunities for musicians most underrepresented in the art form, the three-year, national program launched by New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice – is a partnership between the two organizations, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, and Joe & Nancy Walker. GRAMMY-winning artist and NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington is the program’s Artistic Director.

NJL’s first two cohorts of awardees gained invaluable experiences under the tutelage of some of the jazz world’s biggest names. For its 2023 cohort, NJL set up apprenticeships with Regina Carter, Makaya McCraven, Nicholas Payton, Craig Taborn, Nasheet Waits, Brandee Younger, and Miguel Zenón and recruited Tia Fuller, Christian McBride, Nicole Mitchell, Moor Mother, Meshell Ndegeocello, Patrice Rushen, and Helen Sung to provide creative mentorship. For its 2022 cohort, NJL arranged apprenticeships under Esperanza Spalding, Lizz Wright, Marcus Miller, Mary Halvorson, Tia Fuller, Linda May Han Oh and Chris Potter, while luminaries like the late Wayne Shorter, Bobby McFerrin, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Brandon Ross, Bill Stewart, Kris Davis and Jen Shyu were also brought in by NJL for mentorships. Over the past several years, NJL has also set up various seminars, from a social media crash course from Samara Joy — who was awarded the 2023 GRAMMY for Best New Artist — to a discussion on independent artistry with GRAMMY-nominated jazz vocalist Somi and the acclaimed drummer / composer Kassa Overall.

Throughout Next Jazz Legacy’s time, awardees have performed on prestigious stages at local and national jazz events throughout the country, including at Winter Jazzfest 2023, the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, and as part of a special Livestream Concert produced by WBGO. The 2023 awardees are also slated to perform at the DC Jazz Festival and Angel City Jazz Fest.

2023 NJL Awardee Tatiana LadyMay Mayfield recently performed with her NJL mentor Brandee Younger for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk. Watch that performance here.

The 2023 cohort of seven musicians spans a wide spectrum of genres, instruments, and trajectories, with personal experiences of confronting the challenges of sexism, socio-economic status, and opportunity. The cohort consists of Camila Cortina Bello (piano), Milena Casado (trumpet/flugelhorn), Liany Mateo (bass), Anaïs Maviel (voice), Tatiana LadyMay Mayfield (voice), Neta Raanan (saxophone), and Anisha Rush (saxophone).

Next Jazz Legacy launched in 2022 with seven awardees from Boston, New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati representing a wide range of instrumentation and approach to performance and composition. The 2022 awardees include Anastassiya Petrova (piano/organ), Ivanna Cuesta (drums), Lexi Hamner (voice/trombone), Keyanna Hutchinson (guitar), Alexis Lombre (piano), Loke Risberg (guitar) and Kalia Vandever (trombone).

Each Next Jazz Legacy artist benefits from a comprehensive package designed to have a deep and lasting career impact. This includes a $10,000 grant, a one-year performance apprenticeship, a two-way mentorship program pairing them with artistic and business professionals, peer-learning cohorts led by Carrington, an online learning course from Berklee, and a variety of promotional opportunities to live showcases with national presenters and more. The NJL program is managed by New York City-based emerging guitarist, composer and educator Lolivone de la Rosa. Any questions about the program should be addressed to de la Rosa at

Applicants must be based in the US or a US territory, a woman or non-binary improviser in jazz, an emerging artist with substantial professional experience, 21-35 years old, and available for full participation in the program between January 2024 and December 2024.

More information on Next Jazz Legacy can be found here

New Music USA nurtures the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music in all its forms to build a vibrant and inclusive future for creators and listeners across the US. We empower and connect US-based music makers, organizations, and audiences by providing funding through our grants; offering support and fostering new connections through our programs; deepening knowledge through our online magazine, NewMusicBox; and working as an advocate for the field. New Music USA envisions a thriving and equitable ecosystem for new music throughout the United States.

The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice’s mission is to recruit, teach, mentor, and advocate for young musicians desiring to study jazz in a safe, egalitarian and nurturing environment, with gender justice and racial justice as guiding principles. We share in the collective work to challenge systemic forms of oppression embedded in the art form. We believe a cultural transformation is needed and that the music itself will not reach its full potential until these issues are meaningfully addressed. Learn more at

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at