International Jazz Festival Competition

Big Sky

Dear contestants and friends of BIG SKY Competition!
For objective and understandable reasons, we are forced to postpone the terms of in-person qualifying rounds and the final of the competition. We will inform you about the dates additionally.
Correspondence qualifying round continues!
We accept applications at the link below “Registration in Moscow”.

Marathon “JAZZ IS LIFE”

About the contest

The International Jazz Competition for young musicians «BIG SKY» is held for the third time in 2019-2020. This is a competition of young, aged 18-28 years, musicians, professionally playing, singing, composing and writing jazz.

The competition has a number of additional events: a photo and art exhibition, educational lectures and a workshops program for all lovers of jazz.

Advantages of participation in the competition:

  • Lack of registration fee from participants
  • Live workshops from world stars of jazz and European management
  • Networking with members of the professional music community from more than 20 countries
  • The opportunity to perform on the same stage with the stars of jazz
  • The opportunity to attract attention and start cooperation with one of the European managers


The organizer of this project is «KolosovArtSteps» agency.


I cordially welcome the young colleagues who wish to take part in our competition! Both previous contests aroused great interest. It is no coincidence that musicians from 15 countries took part in them. I hope this will be the case this time too, because the craving for this art does not wane despite all the difficulties that exist in the modern musical world. I am sure that participation in our contest will help you attract the attention of music management and critics and will open serious prospects for promotion. Good luck!

Alexey KolosovThe chairman of the jury, the founder and ideologist of the «BIG SKY»International Jazz Competition for young musicians

You are all unique, so be yourself and let the audience feel you

Matti Lappalainen (Finland)Musician, composer, arranger, producer. Director of the international festival«April Jazz» (Espoo, Finland)

For young musicians, participation in this wonderful competition is very important! Music is the human soul, the whole world! I will be glad to meet you at the "BIG SKY" contest!

Raffaele Casarano (Italy)Musician, composer, arranger, Director of The international jazz festival "Locomotive Jazz Festival"

Dear participants of the third international jazz competition «BIG SKY»! Welcome to an interesting musical event this fall! I wish you to spend this unforgettable time in joy and dedication, in meetings with interesting people, to acquire useful knowledge and put them into practice after the competition. I wish you all goodluck, peaceandlove!

Sergey SokolovComposer, pianist, piano teacher, producer of international festivals “Jazz Without Borders” and PaloheinäSoi, jazz club Art Jazz Helsinki

I welcome all participants to this wonderful music contest! I want to wish you success in competitive performances and find new musical friends!

Hasan BagirovRussian jazz musician, teacher, producer. Honored Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Soloist of the St. Petersburg State Philharmonic of Jazz Music

In addition to being a musician, for many years I have also been the organizer of a large guitar competition-festival. I can evaluate not only what is happening on the stage, but also what complex problems the organizers are solving. Pleasantly surprised by the high level of young jazzmen. The very idea of "BIG SKY" competition is relevant and universal for the entire jazz community and is applicable to implementation in any country.

Lee Ritenaur (USA)Composer, musician, producer, organizer of the international jazz guitar competition, winner of the Grammy Award. Jury member of "BIG SKY" 2017

I often take part in the jury work of various competitions around the world. I want to note that I did not expect to see such high young professionals on a single stage on one competition. This for me was a pleasant surprise. It was very difficult to judge and point scores. In my opinion, the most promising contestants became the winners among the strongest.

Eric Marienthal (USA)Composer, musician, educator, winner of the Grammy Award. Jury member of "BIG SKY" 2017

Maybe, it’s difficult to establish the new format because everything is exists. But the «BIG SKY» is the absolutely new approach. It’s really one of the most productive and perspective projects for today. Such project is necessary for the beginners and the producing community.

Krzysztof KarwaszThe head of the «Soliton» record company, a member of the «BIG SKY» jury in 2016

I’m glad to take part in this grandiose project. This format is necessary not only in Russia but around the world too. My company will take advantage of these opportunities opened by the «BIG SKY» competition. We will start the cooperation with the participants and the winners. It’s a new perspective for the international jazz cooperation.

Jan FritzThe head of the «Jazz Media» concern, а member of the «BIG SKY» jury in 2016
The founder of the «Jazz Media» special prize

Alexey Kolosov, the author of this project, has done an extremely important thing. The problem which he is going to solve is relevant everywhere and in Poland too. This competition surely will be the significant event in jazz. I’m proud of taking part in this project.

Bozena UrygaThe head of the «BCD RECORDS» record company
The founder of the special prize

I am pleased for young musicians for whom this competition will open many doors. It’s necessary to do everything to make this competition annual and to embrace more countries.

Fridhelm ShultzThe CEO of the «HGBS» studio
The chairman of the Buden-Württemberg Jazz Union
A member of the «BIG SKY» jury in 2016

Schedule of past events

Press Conference of the «BIG SKY» competition

ITAR-TASS Regional Center in St. Petersburg (Shpalernaya St., 37, St. Petersburg)


  • Alexey Kolosov (Russia) – the chairman of the jury and founder of the competition, jazz musician and composer;
  • Rocky Malatesta (Italy) – President of the Russian-Italian Center for Economics and Development «CHEZVIR».
  • Mikhail Bryzgalov – General Director of the All-Russian Museum Association of Musical Culture named after Glinka, Advisor to the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation;
  • Maria Voloshina (Russia) – founder and director of J&M School, singer and producer.

November 13

  • 12:45 – 13:00 Registration of media representatives, welcome coffee
  • 13:00 – 13:45 Press Conference
  • 13:45 – 14:00 Q&Asession
  • 14:00 – 14:30 Media scrums, interviews with speakers

November 14

Workshops by the jury members of the «BIG SKY» competition

“J&M School” (Kuznechnylane, 6, St. Petersburg)

14.00 – 15.00
Hasan Bagirov
guitar mastery
15.15 – 16.15
Sergey Sokolov
mastery of the composer and pianist
16.30 – 17.30
Raffaele Casarano
saxophone mastery
18.00 – 18.45
Maria Voloshina, Olga Skepner
Experience of a business woman: from a singer to a director
19.00 – 20.00
Alexey Kolosov, Olga Skepner, Sergey Sokolov, Matti Lappalainen, Raffaele Casarano, Maria Voloshina
experience of a musician who has become a producer and director of jazz projects

November 15

JAB EXPO (BIG SKY competition stand) (Kazanskaya St., 7, St. Petersburg)

11:00 – 11:45
photo session with jury members of the BIG SKY and grand opening of the JAB
11:45 – 20:00
JAB’s official program

Workshops by the jury members of the «BIG SKY» competition

Concert Hall of Olympia Palace (Liteiny prospect, 14)

14.00 – 15.00
Matti Lappalainen
wind instrument mastery
16.00 – 17.00
Martin Karnolsky
(producer, doctor of theater knowledge and theater art)
What is stage behavior, gesture power and audience management
17:00 – 22:00
Concert of the intramural qualifying round of theBIG SKY competition

November 16

JAB EXPO (BIG SKY competition stand) (Kazanskaya St., 7, St. Petersburg)

11:00 – 11:45
photo session with jury members of the BIG SKY
11:45 – 20:00
JAB’s official program

Concert Hall of Olympia Palace (Liteiny prospect, 14)

19:00 – 22:00
Gala concert of the jury of the BIG SKY competition and semi-finalists