Director of Jazz Awards

About The Gilmore

The Irving S. Gilmore International Piano Festival (The Gilmore) promotes and develops world-class pianistic experiences through its Gilmore Artist Awards; a biennial, 17-day music festival featuring the most accomplished international pianists; an annual series of Rising Stars recitals and Piano Masters concerts; an outstanding music education program and the commissioning of new music for the piano.

Position Description

In February 2022, the Board of Trustees of The Gilmore voted to establish the Larry J. Bell Jazz Artist Award and Larry J. Bell Young Jazz Artist Award. Launching in Fall 2022, the first recipients of these awards are to be named in 2026. The artistic search and awards process will follow the same format as the Gilmore Artist and Gilmore Young Artist Awards. Reporting to the Executive and Artistic Director, the newly created position of Director of Jazz Awards will manage and coordinate all aspects of the Larry J. Bell Jazz Artist Awards and Young Jazz Artist Awards search process.

The Director of Jazz Awards will be an experienced artistic leader and administrator with a deep commitment to music broadly, and jazz piano specifically.

Position Requirements

  • Extensive contacts and relationships in the international jazz music community of artists, artist managers, composers and presenters; experience, relationships, and gravitas needed to recruit and inspire effective members of the Jazz Awards Advisory Committee
  • Experience and knowledge needed to mentor and nurture the careers of Larry J. Bell Jazz Artists and Larry J. Bell Young Jazz Artists
  • A proven record of sound budget and operational management
  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills, with the ability to make decisions thoughtfully, thoroughly and decisively
  • A team builder and collaborator with a successful record of engaging, partnering and building alliances with a wide range of stakeholders; willing to serve as a resource for the local arts community
  • A good listener with excellent communication skills internally and externally
  • A pragmatic risk taker with an entrepreneurial spirit; a track record of coalescing others around objectives and their successful implementation
  • Committed to demonstrating and maintaining the highest ethical standards
  • A sense of humor and humility

Key Responsibilities

  • Craft and assess award criteria for approval by Executive and Artistic Director and Board of Trustees
  • Plan and execute the search process as it relates to the field of jazz piano
  • Recruit and communicate with a Jazz Awards Nominating Committee to gather nominees
  • Recruit and manage a Jazz Awards Advisory Committee to assess candidates and select award recipients in collaboration with the Executive and Artistic Director
  • Plan meetings, review materials (recordings, reviews, etc.), attend concerts as part of the review process., etc.
  • Plan announcement event in NYC or other appropriate venue
  • Coordinate with PR and communications related to all award publicity
  • Assist in management of Award funds use and distribution in coordination with the Artists and the Executive and Artistic Director
  • Assist the Young Jazz Artists in commissioning planning
  • May be asked to assist/advise on jazz programming for The Gilmore
  • Other duties as assigned

This is a part-time position (20-30 hrs/week) and there is no residency requirement/can be remote.

Salary is commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume to Pierre van der Westhuizen, Executive and Artistic Director, at or by mail to: Pierre van der Westhuizen, The Gilmore, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 101, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. No phone calls, please.


The Gilmore is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

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