Queens Jazz OverGround

Queens Jazz OverGround’s 2021 Streaming Jazz Competition

The Queens Jazz OverGround is accepting video submissions from students living within the five boroughs of NYC.  The competition is open to soloists and rhythm section players as well. We have provided two compositions based on some common jazz chord sequences for you to perform and improvise upon: Zoom School Blues and Don’t Forget Joe. Winners will receive a $25.00 gift certificate to the Jazz Record Center and their submissions will be featured on our 2021 Winter Jazz Fest, live streaming via YouTube on February 9, 16 and 23. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, January 31, 2021 and winners will be notified via email by Friday, February 5, 2021.

  1. Open to students 18 and under. Students born before September 1, 2003 are ineligible.
  2. Participants must reside in New York City.
  3. Participants must provide parental permission to be included in our online festival.  You can download a copy of the permission slip from the link below.  Submissions that do not include a permission slip will not be considered.
  4. Participants must be properly attired for the video.  Dress appropriately for a  school concert performance: no pajamas or graphic t-shirts.
  5. Please submit a video with good audio and video quality with both the soloist and backing track clearly heard.  Most phone and laptop quality will suffice.  Our suggestion is to film using a landscape profile.  Try to include a view of your face AND instrument to the best of your ability.  However, submissions will be judged primarily on the basis of musical content.
  6. Announce your name and the tune you’re playing at the beginning of the video
  7. Students can submit a maximum of two videos total, one per tune: Don’t Forget Joe and Zoom School Blues.
  8. For pitched instruments (brass, woodwinds, strings, piano/keyboards, etc), play the melody for one chorus, improvise for 2 choruses, and then end with 1 chorus of melody to the end of the backing track (Links provided on page 2 below).
  9. For drums, use the backing track (links provided on page 2 below) without drums. Drummers should play the accompanying groove to the track for the opening chorus, improvise over the accompaniment for two choruses, and return to the groove for the final melody statement.
  10. If you need further guidance in preparing your performance, feel free to contact us.
  11. Submissions are due no later than 11:59pm on January 31, 2021.  Upload your video as an UNLISTED video to a YouTube channel and email your link to and a signed copy of the permission slip to [email protected]. If you can not upload your video to YouTube you can send your video as an attachment to the aforementioned email address.

Charts and tracks for both songs can be downloaded here:



Accompanying tracks can also be accessed through YouTube via the following links:


Zoom School Blues: 

Fast version:


Slow version (more challenging):


…and a specialized track for drummers to record with:



Don’t Forget Joe:


…and a specialized track for drummers to record with:



Permission slips can be accessed here: 


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