As part of our ongoing commitment to investing in local musicians and contributing to the development of Aotearoa jazz sounds, the Wellington Jazz Festival is pleased to once again open submissions for new work from jazz composers.


There are 3 commissions opportunities available:

  • 2 x commission for compositions between 1-5 instruments (maximum).
  • 1 x commission for compositions between 6-9 instruments (maximum).
  • The commission fee is $10,000 or $12,500 dependent on the size of the ensemble. 
  • Each commission should be between 15 - 20 minutes (we note that lengths may vary in performance due to improvisation).
  • Instruments may include voice.
  • The compositions should feature improvisation. Hybrid genres and experimentation are encouraged.

A fourth commission has been awarded directly by the Festival's Director Ngā Toi Māori Mere Boynton.

It is intended that the premiere of the commissions will take place during the Wellington Jazz Festival, 19 - 23 October 2022. The Festival will cover presentation costs.


  • Composers must be NZ citizens or permanent residents who are NZ-based and currently living in NZ.
  • Compositions must be new original material and can be one full work or multiple shorter works.
  • Composers may write for specific NZ-based musicians.
  • Composers may compose for themselves or ensembles they perform in.
  • Compositions may be collaborative. The lead composer must be currently living in NZ. All composition collaborators must be paid from the commission fee.
  • The composer must be present in Wellington at the premiere of the work.
  • The composer must cover reasonable costs of musical scores (copying and printing etc.).
  • Successful composers will submit the final score for their composition to the Wellington Jazz Festival by Friday 7 October (you are not required to submit the composition when applying).

We will only accept one submission per composer.

Applications close 12pm, Wednesday 18 May.

We aim to notify successful applicants no later than Friday 27 May.

Got questions? Please get in touch at or 04 473 0149.

If you would like to submit a commission proposal, please do so below.