European Swing Artists Contest 2020

The European Swing Artists Contest is part of the Swinging Europe Network project financed by the Creative Europe programme of the EU. It is the successor of the previously held Swinging Europe Music Contest.

The main objective of the Swinging Europe Network project is to further develop and increase the international mobility of swing artists in Europe. Therefore, it is building on the achieved results of the previous project by upgrading and extending the reach of the Contest to include not only musicians but also dance performers as well.

The project consortium wishes to continue enlarging the already existing catalog of Swing artists by attracting more and more musicians and dance performers and so to create a reliable and consistent European Swing networking tool, which is to become a core reference point for every festival organizer.

The Contest is open to all European Swing musicians, bands, orchestras, musicians, dance performers and artists.

The participation is free of charge. All artists interested in taking part to the competition can just register on the Swinging Europe Portal, complete their profile and upload a video of their best performance. Registrations can be made not only by individual performers such as singers or solo dancers but also by dancers in couples, dance troupes, bands, orchestras, etc. By uploading their video profiles in the Web portal, each participant will increase his/her visibility towards event promoters/organisers and towards possible collaborators in future.

Registration of participants is now open. Click here to register.

The Jury

The jury of the Contest is composed of experts from the partner organisations of the project consortium and one external expert.

Kim Dümbgen

Kim is a full-time scientist/researcher but spends as much mental time in the lab as in ‘the swing world’. She’s a gifted swing dancer, teaches Lindy Hop & Authentic Jazz, plays jazz clarinet and has been the main organizer of Stir It Festival. Originally Swiss, but currently living in Ghent, Belgium, a swing culture hot spot in Europe. She’s involved in Crazy Legs Dance School and LouisLou and is an important force in the organization of Upside Down festival. By the way, if you look for her, but can’t reach her, Kim is hiding in some of the jazz bars in Ghent, enjoying or jamming along with a concert. 

Her varied and rich background make Kim an excellent judge with an open mindset.


Elze Visnevskyte 

Elze is a swing dancer, choreographer, teacher and performer. She comes from a vibrant dance scene in Vilnius, Lithuania. Since she was a kid Elze has been performing in a variety of dance styles – from old Renaissance to traditional folk dances. She has also spent a lot of time acting in the theatre so she takes a part of it to her approach to dancing. She values creativity, playfulness and the art of improvisation and spreads it to her students.

Elze has been traveling and teaching Lindy Hop and Solo Jazz in various festivals and workshops abroad as well as growing her local dance community where she is one of the owners and organisers at What a Jazz dance studio.


Maurizio Meterangelo (Big daddy)

Big Daddy… Band leader (Billy Bros. Swing Ork. – The Hoofers Club), singer, double bass player, MC (Swing’n’Milan, Roma Lindy Exchange, You Wanna Be Americano, Swing on the Beach, Perugia Swing Festival), DJ (Swing Crash, Swing on the Beach, Perugia Swing, Roma Lindy Exchange), dance teacher, events manager (Swing on the Beach, LOT), cultural stimulator, All dat’s Swing’s nerdie and craze.


Ivan Pivotti

Since 2003 Ivan Pivotti works in the Spanish music sector in the field of booking and management. From 2003 to 2005 has been working with the company Flamenco Libre and from 2007 to 2012 with La Bikina (Valencia – Spain) as a booking and production responsible of International Jazz Performances.

In 2012 started his own Jazz and Swing Booking and Management agency, MARMADUKE S.L. of which is the manager. Marmaduke is the coordinator of Soundroutes and Swinging Europe, both projects financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission.


Yavor Kunchev

Yavor Kunchev is founder of Lindy Hop Bulgaria swing dance school. Yavor has been dancing for 25 years. He graduated from the Bulgarian National Academy of Theater and Film Arts “Krastyo Sarafov”.

During his studies he started working as a choreographer and since has choreographed a number of musical performances and shows on stage. In 2012 he won an IKAR Award for choreographing the rock-musical “On the Edge of the Sky”. For nearly 15 years he has been working as dance coach and instructor. As an acrobatic rock’n’roll competitor, he has many titles in the C and B classes. He has represented Bulgaria in two world cups of Acrobatic rock’n’roll class A and is the first Bulgarian competitor in Boogie Woogie. As a rock’n’roll coach in Germany he discovers his passion for Boogie Woogie and Lindy Hop.

In 2008 he took on as his mission to promote and teach swing dance in Bulgaria. In 2012 he founded Lindy Hop Bulgaria the largest swing dance school in the country.


The task of the Jury is to select 5 bands/music artists and 8 dance performers from the contest pool. Each winner will play/ perform in one edition of a Festival/Event organised by the project partners. The Jury will allocate a contest winner to each event according to the specifics of the event and availability of the contestant.

In case of any of the winners renounce their prize, the Jury has the right to appoint a substitute winner from the pool of contestants.

External Jury – the audience

The audience can vote for one participant in each category – ‘Dance performer’ and ‘Music artist’. Members of the audience can cast their vote by visiting the Swinging Europe web portal. The voting will be open from 15th October until 01st of November 2020. Everyone who casted their vote online will have the chance to win a party pass for one of the events organised by the partners.

The Jury is ought to take into consideration the voting of the public in their final decision only if the contestants selected by the audience meet the selection criteria.

Criteria

When deciding on the winners the Jury will take into consideration the following criteria:

For bands and music artists

  • The participants must fall in one of the following specific competition categories:

– ‘Raising swinging star’ – Newly created bands with maximum of 36 months band history (from the first concert or performance). Contestants must not be internationally established yet within the swing dance scene.

– ‘It swings’ – Classic 1930s – 40s big band swing; Slow swing and Blues; Gipsy-Manouche Swing / Hot Club; Swing Combo Big Band, etc.

– ‘It grooves’ –  Rhythm and Blues, Neo Swing, Hot Jazz, Dixieland, Blues, modern swingin’ jazz, Hardbop/bebop, etc.

  • The participant must have had experience in live performing in the last two years
  • Other criteria that the jury will take into consideration:

– audience recognition – publications, music platforms and social media presence, recommendations;

– a swinging quality in the music, referring to an authentic or traditional approach that was common in the swing era;

– bands that create the opportunity for communities to grow; bands that are able to transfer the knowledge to local bands/audience;

– potential to grow as swing jazz bands that raise the quality of music in the community.

For dance performers

  • The Participants can apply individually or in couple and must fall in one of the following specific categories:

– ‘Raising star’ – participants with less than two years from their first international engagement in performing/teaching (solo/couple);

– Solo jazz performers/teachers;

– Lindy hop performers/teachers (couple);

– Slow swing and blues dance performers/teachers (couple);

– Balboa performers/teachers (couple);

– Collegiate or St. Louis shag performers/teachers (couple).

  • The participant must have had experience in performing and/or teaching in the last two years.
  • Other criteria that the jury will take into consideration:

– prove of quality trough teaching references or recommendation – competition performances – creation of performance, choreography or other swing-dance art;

– a swinging quality in the dance, referring to an authentic or traditional approach that was common in the swing era. Think rhythm, unique way of expressing, great partnership, musical reflection, technical luggage;

– dancers that create the opportunity for communities to grow; dancers that are able to transfer the knowledge to local dancers and students;

– potential to grow as a dancer that can raise the quality of the dance in the local or international community.

General terms and conditions

  • In order to take part in the contest, bands, artists and performers need to register in the Swinging Europe Web Portal by creating ‘Music artist’ or ‘Dance performer’ profile.
  • The profile should be duly and fully completed and made public on the Artists section of the Web Portal
  • The Jury reserve the right to refuse the application of candidates in the case of an incomplete application.
  • Candidates do not need to have a European nationality, but must be currently based in a European country.
  • In addition to the prize, the Festival organizers will cover the costs of travel and accommodation.
  • The organizers reserves the right to photograph, record, film and live stream during the performances related of the artists.
  • By submitting the entry form, candidates agree with the terms and conditions of the contest and the contest rules.
  • In order to participate in the contest participants might be asked to provide personal information including their name, email address, phone number and address of residence.
  • The information provided will be stored and used only for the purposes of the contest and will not be entrusted, sold, leased, licensed, transferred, etc. to third parties for purposes that are not related to the fulfilment of the contest objectives.
  • The contest will be open for registrations of participants until 15th of October 2
  • Results will be announced by 15th of November
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