Who can apply?


South African students between the ages 13 to 26 who are at a Grade 3 music level are welcome to apply to the festival. Formal music education is not a requirement. Acceptance is unfortunately not guaranteed as the festival normally has more applicants than it can accommodate. Application forms are available from February each year with the closing date for applications advertised annually.
If you encounter any problems, please contact Kyle du Preez (kdupreez@ecjazz.co.za).


Teachers are encouraged to participate in the NYJF as part of developing South African youth jazz. Teachers wishing to be considered as part of the festival teaching staff are to contact the Festival Director, Alan Webster (director@youthjazz.co.za).



FOR 2024

How do auditions work?

Two national bands of a maximum of 8 members each are selected at the NYJF. Selection to these ensembles is strictly for South Africans only. Age requirements for the two national bands are:


– Age limit 18 and those attending high school


– Age limit 26

The first round of auditions – both instrumental and vocal – is an online submission of home recordings of 2-3 pieces by each applicant which are judged by a panel. Those chosen for the second round receive charts to practise the month before the festival begins. These charts are performed in-person in the final round of auditions in front of panels at the start of the NYJF in Makhanda. These auditions run over the course of the whole day and national bands are selected immediately, with rehearsals starting that day.

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