Liam Jakubowski - Wayne "Zim" Zimmermann Showmanship Award Winner 2023

Jazz Unlimited of Greater Milwaukee offers Scholarships to deserving High School and Pre-High School JAZZ Musicians.  Applicants MUST be in high school or pre-high school in the year the competition is held.  Winners are encouraged to use the scholarship money for jazz-related activities (camps, lessons, instrument purchases/rentals, etc.). Awards will be presented at the conclusion of the competition.  Winners of the various categories will be invited to perform at JU's Monthly Jazz Jam Sunday, April 28, 2024.

The 2024 Competition Will Be Held Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at
CLASSIC LANES OAK CREEK,  7501 S. Howell Ave, Oak Creek, WI. 53154

APPLICATION As a "PDF" Can Be Downloaded HERE

APPLICATION In "Word" Form Can Be Downloaded HERE

For any questions related to the Scholarship program, contact: Steve Smith (414) 213-3883.

Watch a Short Video of the 2023 Scholarship Competition! HERE    Courtesy: Mark Ward Video  Mark Ward

2024 Judges:

Joe Turano - Singer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer/Arranger, Music Director for the Late Al Jarreau, Toured with Michael Bolton, Album Contributions to Rod Stewart, Cher, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker

Taras Nahirniak - Artistic Director and chief orchestrator for the Kids From Wisconsin.  Taras is an arranger, composer, and clinician who has numerous published works. He has written and composed for many vocal groups, drum corps, and marching bands in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Anita Stemper - Anita has been singing in Milwaukee and Chicago for over thirty years.  She has played with Love Affair, The Mighty Makers Show Band and The Ambassador Hotel Cabaret Show in the Bahamas, The Playboy Club, Opus, Quintessence and her recently formed trio called The Anita Stemper Trio.

Karen Cameron - Jazz singer, teacher of private voice and piano students, part of Bethany Church's worship team and prayer team, author of two books, "Prayer and All That Jazz" and "She Sees Angels."

Pete Lange (Critique Judge) - Pete followed his passion for teaching and music, teaching Band and Choir at Waukesha’s Catholic Memorial High School from 2009 -2017.  Pete has experience as an actor, singer, and brass player, and he performs and records regularly in the Milwaukee area.

Competition Information:

Applicants MUST arrange for their own accompanist/s or an accompanist provided by Jazz Unlimited – Jazz Unlimited will provide keyboard and drummer accompanists.  Original music pieces are not recommended.  No prerecorded material will be allowed.  The use of cell phones or internet sources for accompaniment is not allowed.  Applicants may NOT use the judges for accompaniment.  Each song should be a minimum of 2 minutes long but NO longer than 4 minutes.

Each applicant should be prepared to perform up to 2 songs, as submitted with their application form. The number of songs performed will be dependent on the number of applicants competing and time constraints.   

The competition “Performance Order” will be determined by the Scholarship Chair prior to the competition.  All Applicants should arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the competition.  Applicants will be informed of the Performance Order at this time or earlier if possible.  Applicants will also be afforded a 30 second “warm-up” to set sound levels, etc. which is not part of the Competition.  Applicants are encouraged to remain until the end of the competition to learn the results and receive their award.

Instrumental applicants should select a ballad and/or an up-tempo jazz piece to play. The judges look for applicant's ability to present the melody accurately in addition to their own uniqueness and improvisation.  A keyboard, guitar and bass amp will be available. 

Vocalist applicants should select a ballad and an up-tempo Jazz Related rhythm piece to sing. The judges look for applicant's quality of voice, pitch control and originality in their presentation. Vocalists may bring their own mic.  A mic cord and PA are provided. 

Drummers should demonstrate the ability to play brushes and sticks in different Jazz Related rhythms. A drum kit will be provided. Drummers must supply their own sticks and brushes and are encouraged to provide their own throne. Drummers may configure the supplied kit in any manner they choose but are not allowed to tune the drums. 

Overall Musical Aptitude – The applicant should demonstrate an above average ability to play their instrument and/or sing jazz vocals at their grade or age level as well as have a particular interest in jazz music.

Applicants may choose their song selections. The pieces below are ONLY suggestions.  Please contact the Scholarship Chair (Steve Smith - (414) 213-3883) with any questions about selections. 


Rhythm Pieces / Up Tempo

  • Stardust - Nat King Cole / Various
  • Willow Weep for Me - Billie Holiday
  • Body and Soul - Billie Holiday / Anita Baker
  • Georgia on My Mind - Ray Charles
  • My Romance - Ella Fitzgerald / Tony Bennet
  • That's All - Nat King Cole
  • This Masquerade - George Benson
  • Europa - Gato Barbieri
  • When Sunny Gets Blue / Various
  • At Last - Etta James
  • Cry Me A River - Ella Fitzgerald / Michael Buble
  • Time After Time - Cindy Lauper / Miles Davis
  • Fever - Ella Fitzgerald / Beyonce
  • Misty - Ella Fitzgerald / Various
  • Teach Me Tonight - Dinah Washington / Al Jurreau
  • Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra / Michael Buble
  • Stand By Me - Ben E King
  • Misty - Various
  • Good Morning Heartache - Diana Ross / Various
  • Feeling Good - Michael Buble
  • What A Difference A Day Makes - Various
  • When A Man Loves A Woman - Richard Elliot
  • Stormy Monday - Bobbie “Blue” Bland / Various

  • Back At The Chicken Shack - Jimmy Smith
  • Cheek to Cheek - Frank Sinatra
  • Street Life - Crusaders
  • Take Five - Dave Brubeck
  • Minnie The Moocher - Cab Calloway
  • Birdland - Weather Report
  • Straight Life - Freddie Hubbard
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Cannonball Adderly
  • Chameleon - Herbie Hancock
  • I Want You - Gato Barbieri
  • Hello Dolly - Louis Armstrong
  • Route 66 - Nat King Cole
  • My Favorite Things - John Coltrane
  • Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
  • Gonna Fly Now - Maynard Ferguson / Bill Conti
  • In The Groove - Richard Elliot
  • Watermelon Man - Herbie Hancock
  • Sky Dive – Freddie Hubbard
  • Mister Magic - Grover Washington
  • Lady Bird - Chet Baker / Dexter Gordon
  • Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra / Michael Buble
  • Summertime - Norah Jones / Various
  • Street Beat - Richard Elliot
  • Sunny Side Of The Street – Frank Sinatra

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