2024 Performance Plus Application open

Deadline to submit: February 8, 2024 (extended from February 1)
About the Program

Chamber Music America’s Performance Plus program recognizes the contributions and diversity of perspectives that U.S.-based gender minorities and women bring to the field of jazz. The program provides grants to U.S.-based gender minority and women-led jazz ensembles to engage an experienced jazz coach for six coaching sessions with the goal of further developing the ensemble’s performance. The coaching sessions will culminate in a recording session resulting in a high-quality demo for use by the jazz ensemble.

The Board of Directors of Chamber Music America has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization’s work. CMA’s goal in this program is, through the panel review process, to arrive at a final slate of grantees that is representative of the field in terms of racial diversity, as well as the aesthetic range of jazz. Read about CMA’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

A component of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project, Performance Plus is funded by the Doris Duke Foundation.

For more info contact: José Feliciano, Director of Grant Programs, jfeliciano@chambermusicamerica.org



An ensemble is eligible if it

  • it is a professional gender minority and women-led jazz ensemble consisting of 2–10 musicians that includes improvisation as an integral part of composition and performance. (The ensemble bandleader must be a gender minority or woman-identifying professional jazz musician);
  • it is based in the U.S., Indian Country, or U.S. territories;
  • the ensemble bandleader is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • the ensemble bandleader or the ensemble have no overdue reports or financial obligations to CMA
  • the bandleader must be a CMA member at the individual membership level or the ensemble must be a CMA organization-level member at time of application;


  • The coach must be an accomplished jazz bandleader with demonstrated experience in performance, composing, arranging, instruction, and recording;
  • They must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

Current primary contacts/bandleaders for New Jazz Works and Artistic Projects grants cannot apply.

If needed, applicants can consult with CMA staff for recommendations. Applicants are still responsible for choosing their coach. CMA does not assign coaches.

Performance Plus Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to the Performance Plus Program?

Performance Plus was established to address specific gender-based inequity and exclusion in the field of jazz composition and practice. Bandleaders of professional U.S. jazz ensemble, consisting of 2–10 musicians, who identify as gender minorities or women may submit one application.

What is an artist-educator?

An artist-educator is an accomplished jazz bandleader with demonstrated experience in performance, recording, touring, composing, arranging, and instruction. They must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

I’m seeking funds to cover recording costs for a new release. Is the Performance Plus Program a good fit?

No. Performance Plus offers support only for a demo recording of the work that has been rehearsed at the listening sessions with the artist-educator.

Does the ensemble have to be based in the U.S. or its territories?

Yes, the ensemble must be based in the U.S. or its territories, and the leader must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

We currently have funding through another CMA program; may we apply to Performance Plus?

If you are currently funded through CMA’s commissioning programs (Classical Commissioning or New Jazz Works), you may not apply to Performance Plus. If you have a current Digital Residency grant or are the ensemble in a Presenter Consortium for Jazz grant, you are welcome to apply to Performance Plus.

We are a newly formed ensemble, and do not have any high-quality audio samples, can we apply?

Audio samples are required to apply. Samples do not need to be of studio quality but should be clear and representative of the ensemble’s performance within the last two years. You can feature music from a live concert, studio/home recording, and/or a commercial release.

e. Do the musicians recorded on Ensemble Audio Samples 1 and 2 have to be exactly the same as those in the application?

Each of the two audio samples should feature all ensemble members listed on the Performance Plus program application. If that is not possible, then each sample should feature a majority of the members listed in the application.

Does our ensemble need fiscal sponsorship or be registered as a nonprofit to apply?

Nonprofit status/fiscal sponsorship is not required for ensembles to apply.

Who receives the payment if we are awarded a grant?

Performance Plus grant funds are disbursed to the bandleader, unless the ensemble has established itself as an IRS nonprofit organization or another business entity, in which case grant payments are made to the organization/business. The leader is responsible for distributing the funds to the other ensemble musicians and artist-educator, as well as expenses associated with the demo recording, collecting payment receipts and/invoices, and filing a final report upon the completion of grant activities.

Are grant funds taxable?

Yes, grant funds are taxable income. The leader is responsible for filing the appropriate tax forms.

Why does Chamber Music America ask for my race and ethnicity?

CMA collects data on race and ethnicity in connection to grant programs and applications; membership; and surveys with partner organizations, like funding partners. As such, CMA has developed a set of standards for keeping, collecting, and presenting data on race and ethnicity that aim to provide consistency in collecting and using this type of data.

These standards have been developed in accordance with data collection standards by other groups such as CMA’s funders, federal agencies, and agencies that track race and ethnicity data.

Keep reading here.