The Karel Van Eerd Music Award

The Karel van Eerd Music Award celebrates the greatness of jazz music with exciting initiatives in jazz and revolutionary prizes.

The beginning is an annual International Band Contest. By December 12th no less than 119 bands registered for this #KVEMA contest. That was about twice the number of bands we expected to sign up. And the quality range was from good to great and even fantastic. We checked the media the bands had sent us and filtered out the bands that were good, but not as good as some other listings. Also, some bands were amazing, but belong in a concert hall, not in jazz clubs and all kind of smaller venues. It was an intense process that resulted in 31 bands entering round 2 of this first #KVEMA edition.

Starting January 10th both the public and a professional jury will decide which bands will be selected to be one of the six finalists. We already know that those bands will be amazing, because the 31 half-finalists all are.

What is the Karel van Eerd Music Award?

An international jazz band showcase, festival, and competition, as well as a beautiful statue that represents a commitment to the rejuvenation of the jazz industry, starting from the ground up.

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How do I win?

The International Band Contest for the Karel van Eerd Music Award is open to all jazz bands and bands performing “jazz-adjacent” music, and will consist of two phases: Online and Live Concert.

In the Online Phase, Artists submit their information and recent work. The Award’s nominating committee will make a first selection of semi-finalists for online interviews from Artists’ online representations. The committee will pick based on the strength and coherence of each band’s musical quality, performance ability, online sites and profiles, and sheer entertainment factor. Some bands will be stronger in one category or another. After the interviews, fans and the public will vote, along with the nominating committee, and make a selection of six finalist bands.

In the Live Concert Phase, the six finalist bands will meet in Breda, NL for a series of performances in front of an expert Jury and supportive live audience. Win over the jury like you would in any other concert and win the contest! The jury will pick based on musical quality, performance ability, and sheer entertainment factor. See our COVID Policy page for clear information about contingency plans for the Live Concert Phase.

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What can I win?

Total prize value:


The Karel Van Eerd Music Award Committee will jointly pick one band to receive The Grand Prize: a unique live career kickstart opportunity, a Tour Production Deal worth €25.000,00 on the band’s next (or first!) European Tour.

A concert tour through Europe (or parts of it, to be determined in close collaboration with the winning band) can only be successfull if all boxes are ticked. Obviously an amazing band is the most important requirement, but not the only one. Local promoters, bespoke advertizing, a professional band representation online, audio and video content both to promote the tour and to share with new and existing fans.

The success of a tour does not lie in the actual journey but on how to follow up the concerts with all the fans and promoters you met along the way. Also needed are services such as band merchandise, professional tour management, logistics. Read more on the prizes page.

All Finalists will win the MusiQ365 Finalist Prize. One outstanding individual performer will win the Individual Performer Prize. One additional outstanding band will win The Jury Prize. More information can be found on the prizes page.


Latest articles

On to the semi-finale!

The first selection round has passed, and we are honestly stunned by the high level of the registered bands. We even needed a few extra days for the selection process because it was tougher than we thought.

We’re three weeks in! An update…

We are delighted to share that we’ve gotten an amazing response to the new award! Therefore, we firstly want to thank everyone who registered or showed interest in the Karel van Eerd Music Award. We are already so excited with the talent that we’ve seen coming in and are still hearing about the many great bands who will sign up.

Launch 1st Karel van Eerd Music Award (edition 2021)

Today we’ve officially launched the very first Karel van Eerd Music Award competition for jazz bands. After postponing it several time due to Covid-19 restrictions, we’re done waiting. Even if we might have to adjust some of the competition’s scheduling along the way if additional Covid-19 restrictions are ordered: The time is now!