The Zawinul Foundation offers the following awards:

The “Z” Award

Each year, the “Z” Award is given to one music student from the European Union and one music student from the United States for demonstrating exceptional musical talent and passion. Each first place “Z” Award winner participates in the annual Joe Zawinul Music Exchange Program. To be eligible, applicants must be between 13 and 21 years old before June 15th, 2022.


*** Due to concerns about traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Joe Zawinul Music Exchange winners will have until December 2023 to redeem prizes. Winners must provide the Joe Zawinul Foundation for Achievement three preferred departure dates with a minimum 12-week prior notice.***


Second- and third-place winners will receive $300 and $200 gift-card vouchers, respectively, from Austria’s biggest music equipment store, Klangfarbe.


Joe Zawinul Music Exchange Program trips are fully paid for by the Joe Zawinul Foundation for Achievement & the city of Gumpoldskirchen, including airfare, housing, meals, music courses and recreational trips.

To apply, click here

The Spirit Award (Austrian Students Only)

The Zawinul Foundation for Achievement bestows the Spirit Award to an Austrian student who exhibits an unparalleled passion for music and who has overcome challenges in life. The award honors the student’s ability to successfully cope with difficulties while also furthering his/her music education and talents.

The Spirit Award prize is a 3-day recording session at MG Sound Studios in Vienna, Austria, where the winner will get a chance to rehearse, record, and professionally mix and master one song.

The winner of the Spirit Award will be selected from 2021 Joe Zawinul Music Exchange Program applicants who also have applied to the program in previous years. Additionally, the student must be no older than 21 years old by June 15, 2022.


Most Improved (Austrian Students Only)

The Zawinul Foundation for Achievement presents the ZFFA Most Improved Award. This honor recognizes a student who has shown tremendous growth in his/her musicianship—not only in theoretical knowledge of his/her instrument, but also in the acquisition of new skills—the exemplary work ethic required to continue learning the craft, and a willingness to step outside his/her comfort zone to push themselves as a performer. To be considered for the ZFFA Most Improved Award, students must have previously applied to the Joe Zawinul Music Exchange Program and apply again for the 2022 program. Additionally, the winner must be no older than 21 years old by June 15, 2022.


The Creative Video Award (US and Austrian Students)

The Zawinul Foundation for Achievement is pleased to announce the ZFFA Creative Video Award for 2022 will be in two categories:

  1. Production Group
    Will be considered 2 or more people who were assigned to do a production for their school
  2. Individual
    This category is open any filmmaker who was not assigned a project from their school and did the production on their own, either with a crew or by themselves.
    The Creative Video Award recognizes and encourages young filmmakers. Whether captured by a smartphone or the latest technology—now more than ever—young artists have an opportunity to tell their stories through video.

Age limit for this category is 12 to 21 years old.

  • Prizes for the creative video to be announced soon
  • Deadline to submit video is May 13th  18, 2022, 12:00 A.M. Pacific Standard Time
  • The video must not exceed 7 minutes, including opening and ending credits.
  • Credits must acknowledge all contributors, including writing, music, editing, etc. Videos without credits are automatically disqualified.
  • The video may be shot with any type of camera, but must be submitted as either MP4 or MOV files. All other formats will be rejected.
  • Submissions missing the teaser are automatically disqualified.
  • Questions about the video requirements? Please email

Prizes for this category to be announced later.

To apply, click here
Watch the 2022 Joe Zawinul Awards Livestream
June 4th  |   7:00am pst
Watch It Here