Liam Jakubowski - Best Showman 2023

Jazz Unlimited of Greater Milwaukee offers Scholarships to deserving High School and Pre-High School JAZZ Musicians.

Musicians MUST Be in High School or Pre-High School in the year the Competition is held. We ask you to help us get the word out to them. Encourage them to compete and share their talents! Please post or share this information specifically for students in High School or Pre-High School.

Tentative Scholarships and Awards for 2024 Will Be $11,000

Watch a Short Video of the 2023 Scholarship Competition ! HERE   

Courtesy: Mark Ward Video  Mark Ward

The 2024 Competition Will Be Held Sunday, March 17, 2024 at
CLASSIC LANES OAK CREEK,  7501 S. Howell Ave, Oak Creek, WI. 53154
Check Out Their Website


ALL of the Following Awards are for High School or Pre-High School JAZZ GENRE Students:


$1,500 Wayne “Zim” Zimmermann Showmanship Award
$1,000 Mike D’Amore Vocalist Live Performance Memorial Award
$1,000 Augie Ray Best Jazz Vocalist / Performer Memorial Award
$1,000 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser Best Reed Player Award
$750 Frank DeMiles (Dominguez) Piano / Vocal Memorial Award
$750 Best Instrumentalist / Vocalist Award
$750 Best Instrumentalist / Vocalist Award
$750 Best Instrumentalist / Vocalist Award
$750 Best Guitarist Award (Standard 6 String)
$500 Jane Giliberty Best Drummer Award
$500 "The Oak Creek Lions" Best Performer Award
$500 “Taps for VETERANS” Bill Seaman Best Horn Player Award
$500 Becky Loiuse Frink Memorial Instrumentalist / Vocalist Award
$250 Youth Award for 15 Year Old and Younger Jazz Students ONLY
$250 Theodore "Ted" Peppas Memorial Youth Award for 15 Year Old and Younger Jazz Students ONLY
$250 Theodore "Ted" Peppas Memorial Youth Award for 15 Year Old and Younger Jazz Students ONLY

Winners are encouraged to use the Scholarship Money for Jazz-Related Activities (Camps, Lessons, Instruments, etc.). Awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Competition.
Winners of the various categories will be invited to perform at the JAZZ JAM Sunday, April 28, 2024.

APPLICATION As a "PDF" Can Be Downloaded HERE

APPLICATION In "Word" Form Can Be Downloaded HERE


Here is an Attachment That DEMONSTRATES Various Types of SHOWMANSHIP & PERFORMANCE ABILITY.  Showmanship Has Been Lacking in Previous Years.  These Clips May Help You In Establishing "CONNECTIVITY" With Your Audience !! HERE

Help Promote the Scholarship Competition - Download, Print & Post These Posters Any & Everywhere You Can ....  Thanks

Advertising POSTERS That May Be Downloaded:  8 ½  x 11 Poster HERE    8 ½ x 14 Poster HERE

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 Nihirniak - 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.

Audition Information / TimesThe Applicant MUST Arrange for Their Own Accompanist/s or an Accompanist Provided by Jazz Unlimited – Jazz Unlimited Will Provide a KEYBOARD & DRUMMER Accompanist.  Original music pieces are NOT AllowedNO PRERECORDED MATERIAL WILL BE ALLOWED.  THE USE of CELL PHONES or INTERNET SOURCES for Accompaniment is STRICTLY PROHIBITED!  Applicants May NOT Use the Judges for Accompaniment.
Each Song Must be a Minimum of 2 Minutes Long But NO Longer than 4 Minutes.

Each Applicant Will Perform 1 or 2 Songs, Submitted by the Entry Deadline Date. The Scholarship Chair will determine whether 1 or 2 songs will be performed which is dependent on the Number of Applications and Time Constraints.  THE APPLICANT WILL SELECT THE FIRST SONG WHICH WILL ALSO BE THE "SINGLE SONG" TO BE PERFORMED IN THE EVENT ONLY ONE SONG IS TO BE PERFORMED.  THE SECOND SONG WILL ALSO BE SELECTED ON THE APPLICATION IN THE EVENT TWO SONGS WILL BE PERFORMED.

The Applicant’s “Performance Order” will be determined by the Scholarship Chair prior to the competition. All Applicants MUST arrive no later than 15 Minutes, (But are Encouraged to Arrive 1 Hour), 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, patches, etc. which is NOT part of the Competition. Applicants are encouraged to remain until the end of the Competition to receive their award.

Instrumental Applicants should select a ballad and/or an up tempo Jazz Related rhythm 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 Provided. Applicants should perform their best piece, either Ballad or Up Tempo if only 1 song is to be performed.

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 Are STRONGLY URGED To Bring Their OWN MIC. A mic cord and PA are Provided. Applicants should perform their best piece, either Ballad or Up Tempo if only 1 song is to be performed.

Drummers should demonstrate the ability to play brushes and sticks in different Jazz Related rhythms. A Drum Kit will be provided. Drummers may NOT bring their own kit. Drummers must supply their own sticks and brushes. Drummers are Encouraged to Provide Their OWN THRONE. Drummers may configure the supplied kit in any manner they choose but they are not allowed to tune the drums. Applicants should perform their best piece, either Ballad or Up Tempo if only 1 song is to be performed.

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

Mike Mecha is the Scholarship Chair Person: (414) 840-2224 ALL Applicants are advised to contact the Scholarship Chair Person with any questions.

The Applicant will choose the selections they play. The following pieces are ONLY suggestions. Applicants will be advised to contact the Scholarship Chair Person with any questions they have about selections. Note: Depending on how the tempo of the song is played, it may be either a Ballad or Up Tempo.



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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