Jazz made in Germany is a globally respected flagship and more than ever at the cutting edge of our times: its players live and communicate cultural diversity on stage and in teaching, in cultural management as well as in recording production. Artists in jazz and improvised music are highly mobile, form networks, develop new concepts and formats for performance, recording and distribution.


In order to honour this innovative strength in all its facets, Minister of State for Culture Prof. Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, has launched Deutscher Jazzpreis. 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 will take place on June 3rd 2021 with the aim of establishing itself as an annually recurring, cultural lighthouse event.

Christopher Thomas

With this award, we will put the diversity, creativity and communicative power of jazz in the deserved spotlight and honour outstanding artistic achievements with endowed prizes. The jazz music scene has always built sounding bridges between different cultures, it stands for courage, exchange, cooperation – and is thus also a reflection of our pluralistic society. It is precisely this cosmopolitanism that we want to continue to support in the future.”

Prof. Monika Grütters 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 was developed together with an advisory board appointed by the Minister of State for Culture, Prof. Monika Grütters, which is made up of top-class representatives of the jazz scene. The advisory board consists of the following members:

Photo: BVMI
Andreas Brandis

Chairman VUT – The Association of Independent Musicians and Music Companies, CEO ACT Music / Tambour Music Management

Photo: Christoph Neumann
Nadin Deventer

Artistic Director Jazzfest Berlin

Photo: Dirk Mathesius
Felix Falk

Chairman German Jazzunion, Speaker Bundeskonferenz Jazz (Federal Conference – BK Jazz), Chairman Musikfonds

Photo: S. Wieland
Jörg Heidemann

CEO VUT – The Association of Independent Musicians and Music Companies

Photo: Dovile Sermokas
Julia Hülsmann

Musician, Professor for Piano University of the Arts Berlin, Associate of the Federal Conference Jazz, former chairwoman of the German Jazzunion

Astrid Kieselbach

Senior Director Universal Music Jazz (under the aegis of the German Grammophon)

Photo: Felix Groteloh
Alexandra Lehmler

Musician, Chairwoman German Jazzunion.

Photo: Volker Beushausen
Hans Lüdemann

Pianist/Composer – German Composers-Alliance

Photo: Reiner Engwicht
Yvonne Moissl

Chairwoman German Jazz Federation e.V. / Governing Body of German Jazz Organizer

Photo: Sabine Skiba
Miho Nishimoto

Senior Brand Manager Classics & Jazz Warner Music

Photo: Jessen Ostergaard
Arndt Weidler

Sociologist, Head of Projects German Institute of Jazz Darmstadt