The fourth annual Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Future Jazz Master Scholarship was awarded to trumpeter and CalArtian Sara Sithi-Amnuai (Music MFA 19). She was presented the award, which includes a $5,000 prize, during BMI’s annual dinner celebration of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Fellows. The event took place on Sunday, April 15, at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship is the highest U.S. honor given to jazz artists, and the BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship is juried by a panel of NEA Jazz Masters Fellows. First and foremost, beyond the academic requirements, judges select winners based on their talent and promise as a jazz musician and composer. Past judges include legendary musicians Ahmad Jamal, Jack DeJohnette, Jimmy Heath and Ron Carter.
In BMI’s news article, Sithi Amnuai says:
‘Receiving the support of the BMI Foundation and the NEA Jazz Masters through the BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship is an incredible honor, and I’m truly grateful for the generosity they have extended to me,’ said Sithi-Amnuai. ‘Supporting young jazz musicians in their development as creative artists and valuing their unique statements, musical and otherwise, is not only important but it is also empowering and motivating. Thank you to the NEA Jazz Masters for your wonderful contributions and for paving the way, and to the BMI Foundation for your much-needed continued support of jazz performers, composers, mentors and educators.’
Sithi-Amnuai actively performs, collaborates and records with a multitude of musical groups in and around Los Angeles. She has worked with Kenny Burrell, Kendrick Scott, the LA Philharmonic New Music Ensemble and Grammy Award-nominated pianist David Benoit to name a few. The jazz musician also co-wrote a recent paper titled, Women Who Build Things: Gestural Controllers, Augmented Instruments, and Musical Mechatronics, which was accepted for the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression at Virginia Tech.
Additional past honors include a 2017 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Honorable Mention, a 2014 John Audino Memorial Scholarship Award for her classical trumpet solo work, a 2013 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award for Best Original Composition-Orchestrated Work and finalist and semi-finalist awards for the 2009-2013 National Trumpet Competition.
Check out one of Sithi-Amnuai’s original compositions, The Night and the Gazes, below: