Discover the jazz greats of tomorrow, today!

The eighth annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, also known as the “SASSY Awards,” gives outstanding jazz singers a platform for embarking on a career in the music business!

Held in honor of Newark’s “Divine One”—Sarah Vaughan—this exciting competition attracts gifted young talents from around the globe. Contestants are evaluated on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation and ability to swing. The winner receives a $5,000 cash prize and a performance slot at the 2020 Newport Jazz Festival.

Past winners have included Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, Laurin Talese and Quiana Lynell. This year’s event, the finale of the 2019 TD James Moody Jazz Festival, will be hosted by WBGO-FM’s Gary Walker.


2019 Judges:

Christian McBride

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Jane Monheit

Monifa Brown

Matt Pierson


“Rightfully one of the most anticipated events in jazz.”

Christian McBride

“Provides a platform for today’s outstanding jazz singers and gives audiences an early glimpse at tomorrow’s jazz stars.”



Sponsored by The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers