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. Now in its sixth year, our Aotearoa commissions have become an established highlight of the Festival.


There is one commission available:

  • Composition for up to 9 instruments (maximum). 
  • The maximum commission fee is $10,000 for ensembles of 1-5 instruments or $12,500 for ensembles of 6-9 instruments. 
  • 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. 

It is intended that the premiere of the commissions will take place during the Wellington Jazz Festival, 16-20 October 2024. 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.
  • Compositions may be collaborative. The lead composer must be currently living in NZ. All composition collaborators must be paid from the commission fee.
  • Composers and/or their ensembles must be able to perform a one-hour set as part of the Wellington Jazz Festival programme, within which the new work(s) feature.
  • The composer must be present in Wellington at the premiere of the work.
  • All musicians must be Wellington based.
  • Composers may compose for themselves or ensembles they perform in (taking into consideration the above)
  • The performance is scheduled to take place in Wellington during the Festival dates of 16-20 October 2024.
  • The composer must cover reasonable costs of musical scores (copying and printing etc.).
  • The successful composers will submit the final score for their composition to the Wellington Jazz Festival by Friday 4 October (you are not required to submit the composition when applying).

We will only accept one submission per composer.

Applications close Friday, 3 May, 12pm.

We aim to notify the successful applicant w/c Monday 12 May.

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