We’re very excited to announce Youngmin “JJ” Lee is the 2017 Joe Zawinul International Music Award recipient.

“This award means so much to me,” says Lee, a student at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. “The moment I realized music was my passion, I had no certainty, but one thing was clear: I had a burning desire to perform music. This award has shown me I can get to the top some day and play with great musicians.”

Each year, the Zawinul Foundation for Achievement (ZFFA) selects a student from Los Angeles for its prestigious Joe Zawinul International Music Award. The winner exemplifies the same passion and dedication world-renowned musician Joe Zawinul put into every note he wrote and played. Through a highly competitive process, applicants are evaluated for performance, presence, originality, interpretation, and musicianship.

Additionally, ZFFA selects a student from the European Union for the “Z” Award, based on the same criteria. Both students participate in the Joe Zawinul Music Exchange Program, designed to symbolize Zawinul’s personal music journey between Austria and the United States.

The award winners exchange countries for approximately two weeks during which time they attend master classes taught by acclaimed music faculty and musicians. They’re also immersed in the host city’s cultural, music, and arts scene. The program is administered in a partnership between the Zawinul Foundation for Achievement, Musicians Institute, the Joe Zawinul Musikschule in Gumpoldskirchen, Austria, and Musikschulmanagement Niederösterreich.

“I’m excited for Youngmin to experience the culture and music of Vienna, and gain inspiration through the international acceptance of music that my father valued so much,” says Anthony Zawinul, ZFFA president/founder.

Congrats to our American – International Exchange Program Winner