Student Competition

2020 Student Jazz Competition

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, Jazz Pensacola is postponing the live finals of the Jazz Pensacola 2020 Student Jazz Competition scheduled for Monday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Phineas Phogg’s in Seville Quarter, downtown Pensacola. A new date will be determined.

This is the tenth year that the competition has been held. Part of Jazz Pensacola’s mission is to encourage and assist emerging jazz musicians during their student years. The jazz community, including musicians and educators, feels that by welcoming students and giving them an opportunity to showcase and develop their talents, we are helping to create the jazz musicians of the future.

Admission to this event is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Family, friends, teachers and band mates of the finalists, as well as the general public, are encouraged to attend and provide support to the finalists.

The competition includes three divisions: College Instrumental, High School Instrumental and Jazz Vocal. The applications and preliminary recordings have been reviewed and the following applicants will compete for monetary awards at the live finals:

High School Instrumental Division:

  • Jesse Keenan – Piano – Homeschool
  • Jon-Grayson Kerr – Trombone – Fairhope High School
  • Joshua Mullikin – Tenor Sax – Booker T. Washington High School

Jazz Vocal Division:

  • Jane Chakraborty – Pensacola High School
  • Selena Neal – University of West Florida

College Instrumental Division:

  • Jensen Cadenhead – Vibraphone – University of West Florida
  • Christopher Cannon – Piano – Northwest Florida State College
  • Maximilian Levesque – Bass – University of West Florida
  • Duncan Miller – Alto Sax – University of West Florida
  • Noemi Ruiz – Trumpet – University of West Florida

Each finalist will perform two songs, with backing by a professional rhythm section, before three judges and a live audience. The placing will be announced at the conclusion of the evening, with a short jam session to include all finalists to close the show.

Monetary awards ranging from $100 to $500 will be applied toward jazz education needs chosen by the students. Past examples include tuition assistance, private instruction, jazz camps, instrument purchases and music software. Awards to date total over $20,000.

Thank You to our Jazz Education Team Supporters (JETS)


          • John and Myrl Eisinger
          • Ralph and Patricia Knowles
          • Marty Libowsky
          • Kathy Lyon
          • Knox and Holly Parker
          • Tom and Karen Stanmore
          • Carolyn Tokson and Jeff Elliot
          • Dr. F. Norman and Betty Vickers
          • Roger and Kat Villines
          • Justine Ward

2019 Finals’ Winners

The live finals of the 9th Annual Jazz Pensacola Student Jazz Competition were held Monday, March 18, 2019, at Seville Quarter in downtown Pensacola. The audience was treated to fine jazz performances by talented finalists accompanied by a professional rhythm section: Camara Kambon on piano, Tom Latenser on bass and Jimmy Roebuck on drums. 

Previous flyer and application for reference/info.

Click here to download the informational flyer. (PDF, 250K)

Click here to download the application form. (PDF, 350K)

Backing Tracks

Need a backing track for your application? Click on the appropriate links below to download:

College Instrumental

Billie's Bounce   Billie's Bounce (Drums)   On Green Dolphin Street

On Green Dolphin(Drums)   Straight No Chaser   Take the A Train

High School Instrumental

Autumn Leaves 3 Chor   Autumn Leaves 4 Chor   Blue Monk

Fly Me to the Moon 3 Chor   Fly Me to the Moon 4 Chor   Now's the Time


Autumn Leaves   Fly Me to the Moon   Route 66

Note: These files are provided for the use of our student competitors and are not for sale or other distribution. Unauthorized use of these audio files is prohibited.

Questions about backing tracks: Email Roger Villines at jrvill (at)