July 20, 2019

Winner North American Edition 2018

Winner North American Edition 2018

LetterOne and Air Artist Agency are proud to announce the winner of the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” North American Edition 2018:



SASHA BERLINERis a musician, composer, producer and band leader from San Francisco, CA hailed as a ‘rising jazz luminary’. She started playing drums at age 8, picked up the vibraphone at age 13 and is now an alumna of the SF Jazz High School All Stars Orchestra and the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. She is currently a student of The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York.

The jury – consisting of record producer Brian Bacchus, journalist Michelle Mercer, Montreal Jazz Festival Director André Menard, legendary Jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater and chaired by Mikhail Fridman – awarded Sasha with the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award”North American Edition 2018. The jury said: “We were very impressed by the quality of the group of 25 artists who were in the final round of voting and it was not easy to come to a decision about the winner. Sasha Berliner convinced us with her musicality, dedication, but also that she is pushing the jazz envelope forward. We are convinced that we will hear a lot from her in the future.

As winner of the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award”Sasha will embark on a tour ofseven major jazz festivals in North America such as DC Jazz Festival in Washington, the Blue Note Jazz Festival in New York City, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, the Iowa City Jazz / Festival Summer Of The Arts and the San Francisco SFJAZZ Festival, all of which are heldin June 2019. In addition, shewill receive a full year of PR and marketing support through Air Artist Agency, DL Media and Westend Strategy.

From 1st of July until 29th of September 2018, Jazz artists could enter their submissions via a dedicated website (www.l1risingstarsjazzaward.com) to be considered for the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” North American Edition 2018. Over 230artists submitted their entries! A first round of voting was done by the participating seven festivals, which found the 25 best contenders. The final vote was done by a professional jury.

Producing the Award is the award-winning Air Artist Agency Inc., whose director Burkhard Hopper has a long-standing experience in introducing new artists. For 9 years Burkhard Hopper ran the Rising Stars concert series in Europe which – among others – introduced artists such as Diana Krall, Brad Mehldau, Benny Green, Jane Monheit, David Sanchez and Esbjörn Svenssonto the European audiences.

The “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” is a significant event in the international jazz calendar that benefits from the sponsorship and backing of Mikhail Fridman, an international businessman, philanthropist and most importantly a huge jazz fan. Besides being a frequent visitor of Jazz festivals around the world, Fridman is also the founder of the Leopolis Jazz Festival (formerly known as Alfa Jazz) in Lviv (UA).

Sasha Berliner performed at the following festivals as part of winning the ’LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award’ North American Edition 2018:

  • June 5, 2019: Blue Note Jazz Festival NYC
  • June 15, 2019: DC Jazz Festival
  • June 18, 2019: San Francisco Jazz Festival
  • June 21, 2019: CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival
  • June 29, 2019: TD Ottawa Jazz Festival
  • June 30, 2019: Festival International de Jazz de Montreal
  • July 1, 2019: TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival
  • July 6, 2019: Iowa City | Summer Of The Arts
  • September 28, 2019: Monterey Jazz Festival
  • October 27, 2019: Earshot Jazz Festival