School of Music > Concerts & Events > Concerts & Events Calendar > Caruso Competition

Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition

ITG Logo
Gala Concert, 14 September at the Holtschneider Performance Center

Sponsored by International Trumpet Guild, in cooperation with the Herb Alpert Foundation, the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition honors one of the world’s greatest brass teachers. It is to this man and his work that the competition is dedicated. All events are open to the public and will be held at the DePaul University School of Music's Holtschneider Performance Center on September 13 and 14, 2019.

A morning clinic will be presented on the Carmine Caruso Teaching Method. The final round will be held in the afternoon, and an evening concert will feature the winners of the competition along with performances by each of the distinguished judges. Programming subject to change.

Event Schedule

14 September, 2019 

10am* Julie Landsman: Carmine Caruso Teaching Techniques Clinic -Dempsey Corboy Jazz Hall 
Julie Landsman presents her experiences with the Carmine Caruso Teaching Method. Principal horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 25 years, Julie Landsman is a distinguished performing artist and educator. She received a bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School in 1975 under the tutelage of James Chambers and Ranier De Intinis, and has served as a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1989.

8pm* Gala Concert - Gannon Concert Hall
Presentation of competition results, and winnings. Featuring the Competition Finalists, adjudicators, and the 2019 festival big band, the Gala Concert will be a celebration of the life of Carmine Caruso.

* times subject to change

Adjucators & Guest Artists

Ambrose Akinmuserie
Ambrose Akinmusire
During his 15-year career, Ambrose Akinmusire has paradoxically situated himself in both the center and the periphery of jazz, most recently emerging in classical and hip-hop circles. He’s on a perpetual quest for new paradigms, masterfully weaving inspiration from other genres, arts and life in general into compositions that are as poetic and graceful as they are bold and unflinching. His unorthodox approach to sound and composition make him a regular on critics polls and have earned him earned him grants and commissions from the Doris Duke Foundation, the MAP Fund and the Kennedy Center. Read more about Ambrose on his website.
Tim Hagans
Tim Hagans
Jim Macnie of the Village Voice wrote, “Fetchingly situated between Brownian blasts and Milesian murmurs, the trumpeter’s lines cover lots of emotional breadth. It makes for a straight-ahead quintet approach that is quite willing to bend the rules to suit a tune’s forgotten corners. His poetry with standard ballads might hush this room. Evidently he does know what love is.” Tim Hagans was nominated for Grammy awards for Best Instrumental Composition for “Box of Cannoli” from The Avatar Sessions, Best Contemporary Jazz CD for Re-Animation and Animation-Imagination. Read more about Tim on his website.
Charles Tolliver
Charles Tolliver
Dizzy Gillespie, when asked in a Downbeat magazine interview with Herb Nolan, “what trumpet players do you hear today whom you like”, Dizzy’s reply, “Charles Tolliver – I like him.” Charles Tolliver, entirely self-taught, is a remarkable talent who has gained an outstanding reputation as a trumpetist, bandleader, composer, arranger and educator. Born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1942, his musical career began at the age of eight when his beloved grandmother, Lela, presented him with his first instrument, a cornet, and the inspiration to learn. Read more about Charles on his website.
Julie Landsman
Julie Landsman (Carmine Caruso Clinic)
Principal horn with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 25 years, Julie Landsman is a distinguished performing artist and educator. She received a bachelor of music degree from The Juilliard School in 1975 under the tutelage of James Chambers and Ranier De Intinis, and has served as a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1989. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Landsman achieved her dream of becoming principal of the MET in 1985 and held that position until 2010. She has also shared her talent to many other ensembles within the city as a current member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and having performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic. Read more about Julie on her website.​​

Competition Rules and Guidelines

The complete competition rules and guidelines can be found below or are available to download here​.
  1. The 2019 competition is open to all trumpeters (except previous first-prize winners) born after Sept. 14, 1989, provided that they are not currently under major artist management.
  2. The online application will be available beginning March 1, 2019, and will close on June 1, 2019. The online application has two separate forms, and each requires different materials. Both must be completed before submission is considered final, but you may fill out the forms in either order.
    1. At, the ITG Competition website, you must complete the following:
      1. Complete the online registration form.
      2. Upload unedited recordings of the required repertoire (see Rule 6) with live rhythm section. Recordings must be uploaded in an mp3 format only. You will be required to submit each selection as a separate mp3 file.
      3. Pay a non-refundable application free of $100.00 US. After uploading their recordings, applicants will be taken to a PayPal portal in which they can pay via credit card or PayPal balance. The email used to register for this competition should match the email on the PayPal account used for payment. Payment is required at the time of application.
    2. You must submit the following materials to host Chad McCullough at

      1. Copy of lead sheets of your chosen repertoire in PDF format for all selections.
      2. Copy of document (such as passport, driver's license or birth certificate).
    3. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. You will be sent acknowledgement of receipt of your materials.

    4. Finalists will be contacted by the competition host and required to provide specific for receipt of materials at the time of notification.
  3. The competition has two stages:
    1. A preliminary round (see Rules 2i, 5 and 6)
    2. A final round performed live at the competition site - the DePaul University School of Music, Chicago, IL - on September 14, 2019. Rehearsal with the competition rhythm section will take place on September 13, 2019.
  4. Prizes: First prize is $10,000.00 US and second prize is $5,0000.00 US. The judges reserve the right to award no first and/or second prize if they fell that no contestant meets the standards set for this competition. No ties will be awarded. Winnings of US and non-US citizens are subject to US income tax laws and withholding requirements.
  5. Repertoire: Each contestant’s preliminary recording must include four (4) different selections from the following categories:
    1. Selections 1 and 2: Choose two of the five following standard tune styles (One or both of these selections may be original compositions in these styles):
      1. Ballad
      2. Latin jazz
      3. Up-tempo rhythm changes
      4. Contemporary funk-rock fusion
      5. Jazz waltz or mixed meter
    2. Selection 3: Wayne Shorter's Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum. If you need to purchase this lead sheet, you can find a copy in the Jamey Aebersold Play-a-Long Series, Volume 33. You can order this through almost any music store.
    3. Selection 4: Contestant's choice in any jazz style.
  6. Preliminary (recorded) round: The preliminary round consists of the submitted mp3 recordings of all selections as listed in Rule 5. The mp3 files should be of the highest quality possible and must be made with a live (not prerecorded) rhythm section. The recordings must be unedited except between selections. Do NOT announce the name of the contestant or the title of the selections on the recording. All recordings will be judged anonymously.
  7. Final Round: A maximum of five (5) finalists will be chosen to compete in the final round at DePaul University, Chicago, IL. All finalists will be notified by July 15, 2019. After all finalists have been chosen, the other applicants will be notified. All finalists will receive a travel expense reimbursement of up to $500.00 US. A professional rhythm section will be provided for each of the finalists to rehearse and perform their selections in Chicago, IL on September 13 and 14, 2019. Finalists will have a maximum of 1 1⁄2 hours to rehearse with this group prior to the finals. All finalists will perform three or four selections from the preliminary tape plus a new required selection to be given to the contestant at the rehearsal for a maximum performance time of 30 minutes. These rehearsals are not open to the public. The final round will take place in the form of a concert with each contestant drawing lots to determine his or her order of appearance.
  8. All prize winners must agree to allow ITG to release post-competition publicity that may include photos, video, audio, and/or material from their bios. The first-prize winner will be invited to perform as a featured artist at the 2020 ITG Conference.
  9. The competition chair is in charge of the competition and may, in case of an emergency or necessity, make decisions or adopt policies that would be beneficial to the operations for the competition. The awards ceremony will occur at the end of the final-round concert. The International Trumpet Guild and the Herb Alpert Foundation provide all monetary prizes and operations for the competition.
  10. Competition Advisory Committee:
    1. Chair: Vern Sielert
    2. Host: Chad McCullough
    3. ITG President: Cathy Leach
  11. Questions regarding the competition may be addressed to the host:
    1. ​Chad McCullough, (206) 300-8100 or​