PJ Morton is one of the all-star judges for the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA),'s inaugural Scholarship Songwriting Competition

Trombone Shorty, Jon Batiste, PJ Morton to judge songwriting contest

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA), in partnership with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, will host the inaugural Scholarship Songwriting Competition, in which GRFA will reward three winners a shared stipend of $10,000 in college scholarships, the opportunity to record in a professional setting under the guidance of Grammy-winning producers and a chance to perform during the Trombone Shorty Foundation’s “Shorty Fest” benefit concert during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The theme for this year’s contest is “The Art of Sound,” so the participants are being asked to depict the connection between music and visual art through a work of art or song. GRFA is accepting submissions through January 17. The award ceremony will take place on March 21 at the Sheraton New Orleans (500 Canal St.).

“We are proud to now offer Louisiana high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to not only showcase their skills in art, but also music through our new songwriting competition,” said Jacques Rodrigue, Executive Director of the Rodrigue Foundation and son of the ubiquitous Blue Dog painter, George Rodrigue. “Music is a Louisiana staple; we have something very special here that we want to continue to grow, starting with our youth. It’s important to us to encourage students to learn more about music and songwriting and give them a platform to showcase their talents.”

Confirmed judges for the songwriting competition include Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Jon Batiste, Tarriona “Tank”  Ball from Tank & the Bangas, Lauren Daigle, Ben Ellman and Erica Falls of Galactic, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros, Samantha Fish, AJ Haynes from Seratones, Jim McCormick, PJ Morton of Maroon 5, Anders Osborne, David Shaw of the Revivalists, Aaron Wilkinson from Honey Island Swamp Band, Big Chief Juan Pardo, Red Wick and George Wilde. Visual art judges will be announced at a later date.

All high school juniors and seniors in LA are eligible for the competition. Song submissions are judged on structure/composition, melody and lyrics. Visual submissions will be judged on concept/design, technical skill and creativity. For more information regarding the contest or to access the submission application, visit the GRFA website, here.