Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works program provides grants to jazz ensembles based in the U.S., its territories, and Indian country supporting the creation, performance, and recording of new jazz works. The new work may be composed by the ensemble leader or another member of the ensemble/collective. Since 2000, CMA has awarded 277 original jazz works grants. 

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 race and gender, as well as the aesthetic range of jazz. Read CMA’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

  • Ensembles consisting of 2-10 musicians (including guest artists) may apply to this program.
  • The primary contact for the application or the ensemble must have  current CMA membership status at the time of applying.
  • New Jazz Works funds musical artists only; non-musical artists are not supported by this program.

An Ensemble is eligible if:

  • it is a professional composer-led or collective jazz ensemble  (student groups are not eligible).
  • it is based in the U.S., its territories, or Indian country.
  • the leader is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • it includes improvisation as an integral part of composition and performance.
  • has no overdue financial or reporting obligations to CMA grants or for any CMA grants.

An ensemble may be on an application to either CMA’s 2023 New Jazz Works program or the 2023 Classical Commissioning program, but not to both. 

Ensembles with current commissioning projects under a 2023 Artistic Projects grant may not apply.

The Composer:

  • may be either the bandleader or a member of the ensemble/collective.
  • is an individual, not a group.
  • must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • must have fulfilled any outstanding obligations from prior CMA grants at the time of application.

A composer may be on an application to either CMA’s 2023 New Jazz Works program or the 2023 Classical Commissioning program, but not to both. 

Composers on current commissioning projects under a 2023 Artistic Projects grant may not apply.

The New Composition

The commissioned work must:

  • be of substantial length, this may be one extended work or shorter pieces that together form a larger work.
  • feature improvisation as an integral part of the composition.
  • be written for 2-10 musicians; the total number of musicians including the performing composer and guest artists must not exceed 10.
  • be scored for one musician per part.
  • result in a printed score, lead sheet, or other form of graphic notation or nontraditional documentation.

If the commissioned work will be written as part of a multi-disciplinary project, it must also be a stand-alone work for performance.

Ineligible Requests
  • Previously written works, works-in progress, arrangements, opera, and/or incidental music are not supported by this program.

Additionally, CMA cannot consider the following applications:

  • requesting funding for non-musical artists.
  • requesting fees for student musicians.
  • requesting funds for classes or workshops for music students.
Panel Review Process

New Jazz Works applications are reviewed by an independent panel of jazz music professionals; CMA staff and board do not participate in the deliberations. (Representative list of panelists)

The panel reviews audio samples presented anonymously. This process conceals the names of the composer, ensemble, and ensemble members, as well as the titles of the audio samples and score submitted for the evaluation process.

The panel will review:

  • Composer audio samples for originality in a compositional technique and skill in arranging for jazz ensembles.
  • Ensemble audio samples for the technical and artistic strength of individual instrumentalists to understand the composer’s arrangement(s).
  • Ensemble audio samples for cohesiveness of the ensemble in performing scored and improvised music.

The audio summary table in the application form serves as a guide for the panelists.

Grant Award and Payment

If awarded, the member of the ensemble serving as the primary contact for the grant is responsible for:

  • acting as the contact for CMA on behalf of the ensemble.
  • providing government issued documentation as proof of their U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • receiving and managing the grant funds.
  • maintaining CMA membership through the entire grant period.
  • filing the required reports and associated materials.

Grant funds are taxable income; grantees must comply with all applicable city, state, and federal laws, ordinances, codes, and regulations regarding the reporting of grant funds.

The Application

CMA uses an online application through Submittable. Create a free Submittable account if you do not already have one. Only online applications will be accepted.

  • Complete the online form directly, or draft your responses in an offline document as a backup, then copy and paste your information into the online application.
  • To save the work you have done on your application, you must click SAVE DRAFT at the bottom of the form before exiting.
  • You can return to your saved application to continue working on it by following the log-in instructions.
  • The application will close promptly at 11:59 PM ET on Thursday, March 30, 2023. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted. Applications are encouraged to submit their applications at least 24 hours in advance of the deadline to avoid any last-minute complications.


Audio Summary Table

Complete the Audio Summary Table in the application, and provide instrumentation, file length, and cue times to guide the panel’s listening for each submitted audio sample.

Audio Uploads

  • Submit audio featuring only small ensemble music (2-10 musicians) including guest artists.
  • Samples should demonstrate the composer’s strongest compositions and ensemble’s performance level and must feature either the full ensemble or at least 50% of its musicians.
    • Include contrasting works, if possible.
  • Soloistic works are not recommended.
  • Samples that prominently feature guests/soloists not involved in the proposed commission are not recommended.
    • A duo must submit works with both partners
  • Only mp3 and m4a files types are accepted.
  • Submit up to 5 minutes of a single work on each file. Works longer than 5 minutes, must be edited and/or excerpted to highlight specific sections.
  • Each audio sample must feature scored and improvised sections.
  • Samples do not need to be of studio quality but should be clear and representative of the ensemble’s performance. (Please be advised: Poor recording quality affects the panelists’ ability to judge the application.)
  • A total of 4 samples must be submitted – 2 from the composer and 2 from the ensemble.
    • Audio 1 and 2: Composer Samples must each feature a single original composition or excerpt from that composition for a small ensemble by the composer on the application.
      • These samples need not be performed by the applicant ensemble.
      • *The Audio 1 Composer Sample must be accompanied by a relevant section of the printed score, lead sheet, or graphic notation.
    • Audio 3 and 4: Ensemble Samples must each feature a single work or an excerpt from that work performed by the applicant ensemble or a majority of its members.
      • These samples need not be original compositions.

Score Upload for Audio 1

*Upload the Score for Composer Sample 1 to the online application. Acceptable file type: pdf only.

To Submit an Application:

  • Go to and Select New Jazz Works
  • Enter required information in all text boxes and tables.
  • Prepare your score and audio sample attachments.
  • Save audio samples as indicated below:
    • For composer audio samples
      • Applicant Composer Name-Audio 1; Applicant Composer Name-Audio 2
    • For ensemble audio samples:
      • Applicant Ensemble Name-Audio 3; Applicant Ensemble Name-Audio 4
  • Save the score file as follows
    • Audio 1 score: Applicant Ensemble Name-Score
    • Acceptable file type: pdf
  • Upload attachments to application.
  • When complete, sign and date the application.
  • Click SUBMIT to send application to CMA; you will receive a confirmation email.
Begin Your Application


Program Support: José R. Feliciano, Director of Grant Programs,
Membership: Geysa Castro, director of membership services,
Technical Support: Submittable Help – For Submitters | Submittable

Application Deadline: March 30, 2023, 11:59 PM, ET

Late submissions are not accepted. Incomplete applications are ineligible. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications 24 hours in advance of the deadline to avoid any last-minute complications.