Competition Format

Segment One: New Orleans Heritage

This segment of the EMIJPC will test the pianist’s skills in trio format on tunes not only from Ellis Marsalis, but from the songbooks of fellow New Orleans contemporaries such as Harold Batiste, James Black, Alvin Batiste, and Nat Perillat.

Silver Book Tunes
(Lead Sheets May Be Downloaded on Competition Website):

1) Little Joy (Nat Perrilliat)

2) Magnolia Triangle (James Black)

3) Mozartin' (Alvin Batiste)

4) Alviette Is Her Name (Harold Battiste)

5) Carrie Mae (Harold Battiste)

6) Cochise (Alvin Batiste)

Ellis Marsalis Songs
(Lead Sheets May Be Downloaded on Competition Website):

1) After

2) 12's It

3) Cry Again

4) Swinging At The Haven

5) Five for Trane

6) Basic Urge

Segment Two: Plus One

This segment of the EMIJPC will challenge the pianist to accompany both singer and instrumentalist in bodies of work from the American songbook. The pieces to be performed will be randomly selected from sealed envelopes, on stage in front of a live audience, immediately before they perform.

Two (2) songs will be randomly selected from the following:


1) Come Rain or Come Shine

2) Old Devil Moon

3) Satin Doll

4) Just Squeeze Me

5) Ecaroh

6) Waltz For Debbie

7) In Walked Bud


1) It Might As Well Be Spring

2) My Funny Valentine

3) I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face

4) The Nearness of You

5) Stella By Starlight

6) My Ideal

7) Round Midnight

Segment Three: Solo Piano

This segment of the EMIJPC will determine the pianist's ability to play at the highest level in widely varying styles, by requiring them to play both a ballad and a Latin Jazz piece.

Latin Jazz Tune
(Solo Piano Approved Songs for "Competition Only")

1) Desafinado

2) Sabor

3) Linda Chicana

3) Mambo Inn

4) Deliro

5) Curacao

6) Mindanao

7) Picadillo1


Any Jazz Ballad played by Ellis Marsalis on a commercially released recording (Contestant's discretion)

Segment Four:

The Trio, will return to the trio format, where each competitor will be required to perform one blues, one jazz bebop standard and one original composition- to assess their potential to contribute to the future of the jazz idiom.


Any Blues Tune in the 12 bar format


Any bebop tune composed between the 1942 – 1958.

Original Composition

One Original composition written entirely by the contestant.