The Prize and The Activities
Being the world's largest
international and annual jazz award presented from 1990 to 2004, The JAZZPAR
Prize is unique. It was on a par with most major cultural prizes. The
administration was exclusively in the hands of people from the jazz world.
Although generally accepted as one of the important art forms of our time,
jazz still needs and merits recognition of its credibility and dignity
to improve its status in society. Accordingly, JAZZPAR became an event
of proven significance in the international jazz community, from time
to time mentioned as The Oscar or The Nobel Prize of Jazz.
The JAZZPAR Prize was awarded to an internationally
known and fully active jazz artist who is specially deserving of further
acclaim. One intention was to encourage significant performers to whose
future The Prize might be of some consequence. The ambition was to stimulate
things to come just as much as to appreciate the past. In a way, JAZZPAR
was established to praise and foster jazz music as such - symbolized by
the yearly award winners.
These winners were selected by The International JAZZPAR
Committee, a panel of some of the world's most percipient jazz authorities.
Each year The Committee picked five Nominees for The Prize.
The Prize carried with it both a cash award of 200,000
Danish Kroner (approx. 30,000 US $) and presentation of The JAZZPAR Bronze
Statuette designed by the Danish artist Jørgen Haugen Sørensen, creator
of The JAZZPAR Sculpture where the names of all Prize Winner are engraved
on the pedestal of the sculpture.
JAZZPAR was more than an award. It was also the starting
point of The JAZZPAR Activities, taking place in the spring of each year.
The principal idea was not only to honor an outstanding artist within
jazz and related fields but to also draw attention to music from different
parts of the world. Rooted way back in our common music history and based
upon numerous cross influences throughout the ages, jazz came to the rest
of the world from the United States. Today this music is a truly global
art form. Consequently, musicians from various countries were involved
in JAZZPAR. In fact, The Project had, as one of its primary objectives,
the placement of Danish musicians in their proper international perspective.
Jazz from Denmark has experienced a notable growth and,
this being so, Danish musicians have been presented throughout The JAZZPAR
Events. Each year The Danish JAZZPAR Project Committee picked a Danish
band leader and act in an advisory capacity as to the group's make up.
After intensive preparations and rehearsals The Prize
Concert Tour took off. The last stage on the tour was The Prize Presentation
Concert in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.
Since the very beginning of JAZZPAR radio, TV and other
mass media have shown considerable interest in the Project.
Thirtyseven JAZZPAR CDs, another important part of The
Activities, present the constellations of the JAZZPAR years. Jazzkontakten
still has most of the releases for sale.