The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is very pleased to announce its jazz winners for the 2003 annual competition. Called "the songwriting competition to take note of" by the New York Times, ISC received over 11,000 entries from 60 countries in its sophomore year. ISC prizes include more than $100,000 (USD) in cash and merchandise and are shared by 68 winners in 13 categories. Winning First Place in the Jazz category is Ben Castle, a saxophonist from Buckinghamshire, England for his song "The Heckler". A BBC Jazz award nominee, Ben has played with a diverse group of musicians including Sting, The Brand New Heavies, Boy George, Diana Krall and many others. Ben's tenor sax playing had been described as "brilliant, effortless, creative and very persuasive". Taking Second Place honors is Jazz guitarist and composer Steven Kirby from Concord, MA, USA for his song "Line Game". Steven, a Cum Laude graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, has played professionally for 20 years; and has built a reputation for performing exciting, melodic, lyrical and expressive mainstream and contemporary jazz. Other songwriters who placed in the Jazz category include: Anatholi Bulkin (Malmo, Sweden), Honorable Mention - "Ananthy"
Greg Hopkins (Melrose, MA, USA), Honorable Mention - "Steller By Satellite"
Kerry Politzer (Brooklyn, NY, USA), Honorable Mention - "Tug Of War"
Bill Bruford (Cranleigh, Surrey, England), Runner Up - "Beelzebub"
Stephen Hudson (Flemington, NJ, USA), Runner Up - "Mingus Moon"
Matthias Lupri (Boston, MA, USA), Runner Up - "Investion"
Carole Nelson (Borris, Ireland), Runner Up - "I Just Like To Drink Alone"
Cal Bennett (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Semi-finalist - "Life Hour"
Natalie Cummings/Larry Lush (London, England, UK), Semi-finalist - "Nu Song"
Joe Deninzon (Dumont, NJ, USA), Semi-finalist - "What's That Thang?"
Darryl Dixon (Rahway, NJ, USA), Semi-finalist - "Free Time"
Werner "Vana" Gierig (New York, NY, USA), Semi-finalist - "Low Features"
Pascal Le Boeuf/Remy Le Boeuf (Santa Cruz, CA, USA), Semi-finalist - "Baumchicka-Wow-Wow"
Sue McCreeth (London, England, UK), Semi-finalist - "Sat Nam"
Kerry Politzer (Brooklyn, NY, USA), Semi-finalists - "Begin the Baiao"
James Robitaille (New Bedford, MA, USA), Semi-finalist - "Lost and Found"
Steve Shapiro (South Salem, NY, USA), Semi-finalist - "Ennui"
Richard Szaniszlo (Oroshaza, Bekes, Hungary), Semi-finalist - "Sophia"
Christine Tobin (London, England, UK), Semi-finalist - "Go Tell" The ISC panel of judges included top executives, songwriters, and producers in the music industry: Pat Metheny; Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20); B.B. King; Phil Vassar; Dan Haseltine (Jars Of Clay); Vanessa Carlton; Bebe Winans; Guru (Gang Starr); Paul Oakenfold; Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace); Nile Rodgers; Monte Lipman (President, Universal Records); Arif Mardin (VP/GM, Manhattan Records); Bruce Lundvall (CEO/President, Capitol Jazz/Classics); Michael Gudinski (Chairman, Mushroom Group Of Companies); Frank Callari (Artist Manager); Tina Davis (Sr. VP A&R, Def Jam/Def Soul); Rose Noone (Sr. VP A&R, Epic Records); Jimmy Bralower (Producer); Kim Stephens (VP A&R/Promotion, Lava Records); Tara Griggs-Magee (Executive VP, Gospel & Urban Music, Sony Music Entertainment); and Robert Beeson (President, Essential Records). ISC is proudly sponsored by Xytar Digital Systems, Epiphone Guitars, Sam Ash Music Stores, iRiver, Primera Technology, Inc., Berklee College Of Music, FYE -For Your Entertainment, MP3.com, MasterWriter, Planetary Group, Berkleemusic.com, Ernie Ball Music Man, L.R. Baggs, Sonicbids, Cakewalk, The Intellitouch Tuner, Disc Makers, Alphabet Arm Design, The Orchard, M Works, Onlinegigs, Live365.com, and Sennheiser USA. Entries will be accepted soon for the 2004 competition. For more information and a complete list of winners, please go to the website.