Emerging Jazz Artist Award

Celebrating Toronto's outstanding emerging jazz artists


Deadline:  December 2023. Nominations for this award (presented in 2024) will open in September 2023. 

About: The Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award is a $10,000 cash prize with finalists receiving $1,000. The award furthers the career of an outstanding emerging jazz artist and is intended to support the pre-production, production, and/or recording of original music composed by the recipient. Established in 2014, the award is supported by Cheryl and Manuel Buchwald, and will be given out annually for at least 10 years. The Emerging Jazz Artist Award is presented every year at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

“As a creative person you have a lot of dreams of things you would like to do, and finances often stop them. I often dream and dream big. An award like this makes those dreams possible.” – Larnell Lewis, 2017 Emerging Jazz Artist Award Recipient

Eligibility Criteria:

• must be a professional artist 35 years of age, or younger
• must have completed training (not necessarily at a formal educational institution) in their discipline
• must have contributed significantly to arts and culture inToronto and have demonstrated an ongoing association with Toronto
• may only receive this award once
• may self-nominate  
• are not eligible to nominate or receive Toronto Arts Foundation awards while serving as an executive board member or staff of Toronto Arts Foundation or Toronto Arts Council
• Undergraduate & College students are not eligible to apply

No person may be selected for more than one Toronto Arts Foundation award within any given year. No person may receive the same Toronto Arts Foundation award twice. This does not preclude a recipient from being considered for a different Toronto Arts Foundation award in the future.

The award recipient must complete their proposed project within 2 years of the award date, and appropriately acknowledge the support of the Toronto Arts Foundation. The recipient will also be required to provide feedback on how the award and project has impacted their career.

Full Eligibility Guidelines for 2023 Award (PDF)

How to Apply: To nominate yourself (self-nominations are accepted for this award) or an individual for the Emerging Jazz Artist Award you must,

  • Visit the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal https://tac.smartsimple.ca/welcome/taf/
  • Register an account on the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal or sign in to your existing account
  • Submit the nomination online, complete with supporting material

Along with the name of the individual you are nominating, the nomination form will also ask for a biography, a nomination rationale, and accompanying support material in the form of visual, audio or text-based attachments.

Nominators can save their application at any time before submission by clicking ‘Save Draft’. Nominators can log-in and out of the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal asmany times as needed before clicking ‘Submit’.

* Please ensure you are on/ register through the Toronto Arts Foundation Nomination portal and not Toronto Arts Council’s TAC Grants Online.

Selection Procedure: An award assessment panel of up to 10 members will review nomination profiles and select a shortlist and recipient recommendation for this award. Toronto Arts Foundation’s Board of Directors will make final determinations. Each panel is comprised of participants who are practitioners of the arts, organizers, programmers, producers, curators, critics, commentators and lay specialists.

This award is presented in recognition of a body of creative accomplishment, rather than for specific works or achievements. In addition to specific requirements for each award, deliberations will be guided by the following assessment criteria: artistic strength and achievement; strength of the candidate’s artistic goals and objectives; contribution to the development of arts and culture in Toronto; and the candidate’s overall public impact including public engagement and animation.

Contact Info: For questions, please contact Christy DiFelice, Award Program Manager, by email at christy[at]torontoartscouncil[dot]org.


Read full bios of all 2022 finalists

Andrew Marzotto – guitarist

Madeleine Ertel  – trumpeter, composer and arranger
Aline Homzy  – violinist, composer and community builder


Go to our Recipients page to view bios of past Emerging Jazz Artist Award recipients, dating back to 2014.

2022: Andrew Marzotto
2021: Joanna Majoko
2020: Jesse Ryan
2019: Mark Godfrey
2018: Rebecca Hennessy
2017: Larnell Lewis
2016: Amanda Tosoff
2015: Justin Gray
2014: Chelsea McBride