Jihye Lee Earns The ASCAP Foundation & Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Commissioning Prize

January 5, 2021

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Jihye Lee // photo by Hyemi Kim

The ASCAP Foundation and the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) are pleased to announce the recipient of the 66th annual ASCAP Foundation/SJO Commissioning Prize. This prize was created to honor the memory of the trailblazing musician George Duke, who was the SJO Co- Music Director and an ASCAP board member. The SJO Music Advisory Board was tasked with the job of screening the submissions from across the country, ranging from leading jazz veterans to promising young composers. ASCAP member Jihye Lee (New York, NY) was selected as the recipient of the $5,000 commissioning prize and will write a new work for the 68-member ensemble.

Jihye Lee is a New York-based jazz composer and bandleader who has written for such leading groups as Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jazz. She is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music and organized a successful crowdfunding campaign for her first big band album, April. Lee has performed her music in the United States and Asia at various venues and festivals and is currently working on her second release. “This is beyond exciting, and I can't wait to write music for the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra,” commented Lee.

Created in 2002, the 68-member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to blending the worlds of jazz and classical music through its commissioning, performing and educational programs. Led by Music Director Mitch Glickman, the ensemble has performed throughout Southern California with leading guest artists including Dave Grusin, Christian McBride, Raul Midon, Lee Ritenour, The Yellowjackets, and George Duke. The orchestra’s recording on Mack Avenue Records features two of its commissioned works.

The ASCAP Foundation/SJO Commissioning Prize is made possible in part by a grant from The ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Fund and the SJO’s Commissioning Club. Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs.

For more information, visit jihyemusic.comwww.SJOmusic.org and www.ASCAPfoundation.org.