Coming Sunday, June 18, 2023
2023 Billie Holiday Vocal Competition

2023 Billie Holiday Vocal Competition

In past years, Baltimore hosted a renowned Billie Holiday Vocal Competition. While it was not one of our creations, BJA missed it so much we just had to bring it back. Vocalists, we want you to join Clarence Ward, III and his Session band (house band at The Session, Baltimore’s most storied weekly jam session) on the Soul Stage at AFRAM, home to this year’s Baltimore Jazz Fest, to have fun, show your talent, and compete for cash prizes!

First Prize - $500
Second Prize - $300
Third Prize - $200

The competition is open to all vocalists with a few restrictions:

  • Must be available to perform at Baltimore Jazz Fest on Sunday, June 18th any time between 4:45pm and 6:00pm
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must perform a song either composed by, or recorded by, Billie Holiday – you don’t need to sing it like she did, we want to hear your spin on it!
  • Must be prepared to sing a second song meeting the same criteria in case of winning, or in case of overlap among contestants (we can’t have everyone singing the same song!)
  • Must agree to allow Baltimore Jazz Alliance to use any images and recordings of your performance at the competition for our promotional purposes

To enter, send a video of you singing the song you intend to perform, with or without a band. The video need not be professional, a phone selfie is fine – but it should show you at your best. Submissions will be judged on Technique, Originality, Interpretation, and Presence, so give it all you’ve got.

Five contestants will be selected to perform live, and then will receive further instructions on their participation.

Submissions now closed.

Check back soon for info on the selected performers, and thanks to all the contestants!