For 21 years, Swiss banking institute Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) has been promoting young, innovative Swiss bands by means of the «ZKB Jazzpreis» (ZKB Jazz Prize) at Moods. The prize’s main goal is to deepen the diversity of the Swiss jazz scene. Ever since its inception, the ZKB Jazz Prize has been considered as one of the most important promotional events of its kind and it is no longer possible to imagine the Swiss jazz agenda without it. The award is a highly valuable promotional tool: award-winning bands have often been included in the «high priority jazz promotion» program of the Pro Helvetia foundation, which includes financial contributions towards tours, coaching offers and assistance in publicity matters. This has brought the bands attention and recognition on the international jazz scene. 


Each year, six Swiss bands will have the opportunity to compete for the ZKB Jazz Prize. Playing jazz, as the common denominator, is subject to a very open definition. It includes not only traditional forms of jazz, but also contemporary blends of jazz, world music, classical, electronic or pop, with improvisation always being an integral part. The ZKB Jazz Prize festival takes place at Moods over a period of six days : On three separate evenings, two bands will each perform a set of 60 minutes. Once this first round is completed, the two finalist bands will be selected and announced. On the Wednesday of the festival, the weekly «Jazzbaragge Jam» will take place, a freewheeling jam session to which all the bands participating in the ZKB Jazz Prize are invited. On one of the two last evenings, there will be a concert together with jury members. The other of these evenings will see the two finalists compete in 45-minute sets, and the winner will be announced immediately after these concerts.


The following criteria will be considered when selecting bands for the ZKB Jazz Prize:
  • The band must be active in the Zurich or Swiss jazz scene
  • The band must have a professional demeanor (regarding performances, recordings, management etc.)
  • The band leader must not be older than 35 years (Please specify if the band leader does not have a Swiss passport)
  • The band has a high potential for further musical development
  • The band has never before participated in the ZKB Jazz Prize Festival
  • Please list the instrument, birthday and place of residence for each musician of the band in the application
  • Blackout dates: We ask all applying bands to keep their agenda free for the entire duration of the Jazz Prize Festival, until the successful applicants have been determined and the festival schedule can be communicated
The program management of Moods is responsible for the selection of the bands. No correspondence will be entered into regarding non-selection.


The application for the ZKB Jazz Award 2023 is closed. The bands selected for the ZKB Jazzpreis Festival 2023 will be notified at the end of June. If you have any questions, please email us at:


The concerts will be judged by an international jury panel consisting of five experts. After the third concert day, the jury will nominate the two finalists who will face each other again on the penultimate or last festival day.More information about the ZKB Jazz Award