The German Jazz Prize pursues the overarching goal of creating, living and communicating more cultural diversity in musical practice and teaching, in cultural management as well as in sound carrier production and documentation.
It is intended to serve as an orientation for interested parties from all social groups at home and abroad and is based on the self-image that jazz and improvised music belong to the cultural educational canon. The German Jazz Prize reflects the social significance of this music and its award criteria are based first and foremost on artistic aspects.

As contemporary, improvised music that draws from both African-American and other global art music and ethnic music traditions, jazz music is an independent and vibrant part of the musical culture in Germany. As an Afro-diasporic art form, jazz is a formative part of current musical discourse, picks up on the themes of our present to a particular degree and reflects them artistically.

The purpose of the German Jazz Prize is to honour its innovative strength in all its facets and to convey new approaches to jazz to a diverse audience.


In order to honour this innovative strength in all its facets, former Minister of State for Culture Prof. Monika Grütters (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media 2013-2021) has launched the German Jazz Prize. As the Federal Government’s central funding institution for the music industry, the Initiative Musik has been entrusted with its realisation.

The first edition of Deutscher Jazzpreis did take place on June 3rd 2021 with the aim of establishing itself as an annually recurring, cultural lighthouse event.

»Jazz still too often does not receive the public attention and support it deserves in this country. We want to change that with our jazz promotion: through the Initiative Musik, the Musikfonds and the GERMAN JAZZ PRIZE. Especially after the past two years, which were strongly marked by the pandemic, an event like the GERMAN JAZZ PRIZE is particularly important. Because with it we show the creative power, the artistic quality and the diversity of this genre. And jazz gets the attention it deserves!« 

– Claudia Roth, MdB & Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media


The award shines the spotlight on the diversity and creativity of the German jazz scene and honours exceptional, artistic and innovative achievements in a national and international context with prizes in 31 categories. The prize winners receive a trophy and prize money of €10,000.


The trophy stands for inspiration, improvisation and innovation and was developed by the design studios NODE Berlin Oslo and Zieta Prozessdesign in collaboration. The shape of the trophy is created using a technique developed by architect Oskar Zieta: steel bodies can be “inflated” by air pressure and deformed accordingly. Deliberate irregularities in the production process and the manufacturing technique itself refer to the processual and experimental character of Jazz. In addition, the silhouette of the trophy can be recognised as part of the new logo of Deutscher Jazzpreis.


The concept of Deutscher Jazzpreis is constantly being developed together with an advisory board appointed by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth, which is made up of top-class representatives of the jazz scene. The advisory board consists of the following members:

Photo: Frank Siemers
Sabine Bachmann

Co-owner Skip Records

Kai-Uwe Diaz Philipp

Senior Communication Manager Classical & Jazz Sony Music

Photo: S. Wieland
Jörg Heidemann

CEO VUT – The Association of Independent Musicians and Music Companies

Dr. Harald Kisiedu

Musicologist, Lecturer in jazz history and jazz studies at the Institute of Music at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences

Photo: Felix Groteloh
Alexandra Lehmler


Photo: Volker Beushausen
Hans Lüdemann

Pianist/Composer – German Composers-Alliance

Photo: Anna Sturm
Beate Sampson

Editor, music journalist & presenter at BR

Photo: Arne Reimer
Annika Sautter

Head of Leipziger Jazztage, member of the advisory board for music, Leipzig Cultural Office

Photo: Jens Oschmann
Johanna Schneider

Singer, composer, co-organiser of the PENG Festival

Photo: Janine Kuehn
Lisa Tuyala

Cultural manager (Kulturkabinett e.V.), Musician, Co-Initiator Women* of Music

Arndt Weidler

Sociologist, Head of Projects German Institute of Jazz Darmstadt

Photo: Mandy Rosenstiel
Steffen Wilde

Management Jazzclub Tonne

Programme description German Jazz Prize


Please read the programme description carefully first. Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions.

In which categories can one apply?
The award categories of the German Jazz Prize are divided into submission categories and curated categories. The eleven submission categories are open to the public, while in the other curated categories the proposals for potential prize-winners are made solely by the jury of experts and the main jury. Prize categories 18-24 and 26-29 are so-called submission categories, for which music makers who meet the formal regulations and selection criteria can apply independently. Applications can be submitted by artists, producers, managers, promoters, employees of labels, publishers and broadcasters as well as authors of journalistic contributions and festival organisers. The submission deadlines and information on the application process will be announced on the website of the German Jazz Prize. Further information on the submission categories and their application requirements can be found in the programme description as well as in the graphic overview of the categories.

Which submission categories relate to the achievements of German artists and performers?
Applications can be submitted in the following categories for achievements by cultural practitioners who are German citizens, have been resident in Germany for at least three years or have a German degree:

18. Instrumental Album of the Year
19. Vocal Album of the Year
20. Debut Album of the Year
21. Broadcast Porduction of the Year
26. Festival of the Year
27. Composition of the Year
28. Arrangement of the Year
29. Journalistic Achievement

In which categories are applications from non-German artists possible?
For performances by artists who do not have German citizenship or have not been resident in Germany for at least three years, applications can be submitted in the following categories:

22. Instrumental Album of the Year international
23. Vocal Album of the Year international
24. Debut Album of the Year international

Can I apply in more than one category?
It is possible to apply in more than one category, provided that the artistic achievement fulfils the respective requirements of each award category, e.g. application for Debut Album of the Year and Vocal Album of the Year. However, it is not possible to apply with the same artistic achievement in a national and in an international category at the same time.

For which years can one apply and when is the application deadline?
As a rule, the awards of the German Jazz Prize always refer to the previous year. The application phase for the German Jazz Prize 2023 has ended. The evaluation period for submissions for the German Jazz Prize 2024 will be from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023 inclusive. The application phase will start in October/November 2023. More information will follow soon.

Is there an application fee?
No, there is no application fee. Uploading an application is free of charge.

How can I submit files such as PDFs or photos of analogue print reviews with the application?
Only links can be inserted in the application portal of the German Jazz Prize; unfortunately, file uploads are not possible this year for various reasons. We therefore ask all applicants to make files available via cloud solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive / Sharepoint or other providers. It is important that the link is permanently available and accessible. Time-limited links such as those provided by WeTransfer are therefore unsuitable. Uploads are possible in the categories composition, arrangement and journalistic performance.

Who ultimately chooses the award winners?
The selection of the award winners takes place in a two-stage process: the jury of experts votes from all the applications and proposals received in an online vote and a subsequent discussion and in this way determines three nominees. These three nominees are then presented to the main jury, which then selects the award winner in a joint vote.

Where can I find an overview of the jury members?
An overview of the current members of the expert and main jury for the German Jazz Prize 2023 can be found here. Each year the jury members will be published on the German Jazz Prize website after the selection of the nominees and prize winners. The juries of previous editions are listed here.

How are the juries composed and who decides?
The expert jury of the German Jazz Prize is made up of a total of 25 personalities from the field of jazz and improvised music. In order to reflect all perspectives of this lively and multi-faceted music scene, the jury is formed as a representative cross-section of five people from each of the following areas: Artists, labels/publishers, clubs/festivals, management/agencies and journalists/media representatives. The main jury is made up of a total of 10 delegated representatives of the 5 specialist juries as well as 7 additional members who are outstanding and recognised personalities from cultural public life with an affinity for jazz. All juries have equal gender representation and are appointed by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) on the basis of a proposal from the advisory board. Further detailed information on the functioning of the jury can be found in the jury statutes.

When will the next German Jazz Prize event take place?
The German Jazz Prize 2023 event will take place as part of Jazzahead on 27 April 2023 in Bremen. Click here for more information on the event.