Jazz School News, Thoughts and Events.

Minor Blues Story Telling Contest For Teenagers

Posted by David Bloom on Oct 2, 2014 4:05:00 PM

HighSchool Email 2014 B


Band Directors and Music Teachers,

We are excited to notify you of the first Minor Blues Story Telling Contest For Teenagers (13-19) sponsored by the Bloom School of Jazz.

 This contest is being given to promote improvised musical story telling awareness and accountability.

Each submission will be accepted only by nomination from the student's band director or teacher, along with an MP3 recording of the student. All instruments, including drums and voice, are invited.

We will accept the first 30 nominations received before the deadline, and from these will be chosen 10 finalists, who will perform at the Jazz Showcase. Contestants must live in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs.

We are providing a “play-along” MP3 for making this recording (a minor blues), for both melody and solo improvisation (see details below).

Included is an entry form, the sheet music for the minor blues, and an MP3 to practice and play along with for the recorded submission.

The deadline to receive nominations is October 28, 2014. All entries must be sent by band directors or teachers only.

10 Finalists will be contacted by November 5, 2014. 

Send nominations and MP3s to dbloomjazz@gmail.com .

If you don’t get a reply within 24 hours of your submission, call 773-860-8300. Internet is often fallible and we want to ensure that we recieve everyone's submission.

The judges, notable jazz musicians, will determine the winning soloists by the following criteria:

  • Story Telling - Development of a theme (30 points)

  • Pacing - the amount of 12-bar choruses that build with no redundancy of intensity. Minimum 4 choruses. (20 points)

  • Color Variety - scale colors (10 points)

  • Originality - lack of cliché (10 points)

  • Linkage - linkage of ideas through the changes (10 points)

  • Instrumental Mastery (Tone/Technique/Intonation) (10 points)

  • Swing - making rhythm (10 points)

 Total: 100 points

Ten finalists will be invited to compete, before a live audience of friends, family and peers at the Jazz Showcase November 15, 2014 from 3:00pm-5:00pm. They will be accompanied by a professional rhythm section. Finalists must arrive 30 minutes prior to start time to sign in.

Awards winners will recieve the following prizes:

1st Place:  $500 cash prize (for music education)

2nd Place:  $300 cash prize (for music education)

3rd Place    $200 cash prize (for music education)    

Please feel free to contact me with questions 773-860-8300

David Bloom
Director, Bloom School of Jazz


Application Form for Minor Blues Story Telling Contest 

Please fill out, copy and paste in an e-mail both, application and mp3, and send to dbloomjazz@gmail.com. If you don't hear from us within one day after your submission, call 773-860-8300.

  1. Instructor: 
  2. Phone:
  3. Email:
  4. School:
  5. Student:
  6. Age:
  7. Instrument:

MP3 Submission

Record your playing or scatting (with the provided MP3 track): the head of True Bloo twice, take a four-chorus improvised solo and head out twice (a total of 8 choruses). You may either develop the melody of the song or develop your own theme. Each chorus should build using dynamics, rhythmic intensification, longer phrase lengths, more dissonance and any other techniques. Your goal is to improvise a dramatic musical story with characters and plot.

Click for sheet music and track:

Sheet Music for True Bloo

Music Track for True Bloo