20 December 2018

LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” North America Edition

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


Sasha Berliner is a musician, composer, producer and band leader from San Francisco, CA. Hailed as a ‘rising jazz luminary’, the jury – consisting of record producer Brian Bacchus, journalist Michelle Mercer, Montreal Jazz Fest Director André Menard, legendary Jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater and chaired by Mikhail Fridman –  awarded Sasha with the 2018 ‘LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award’ North American Edition. Sasha also won the first voting round, done by the 7 participating festivals!

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” USA & Canada 2018. Over 230 artists submitted their entries!

Sasha 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. Her outstanding musicianship and activism against sexism in the jazz industry has resulted in features in Hot House Jazz Magazine, the SF Jazz Education Centre, NPR, NBC Boston and the New York Times. Over the past years, she has also had the honor of sharing the stage with musicians such as Ravi Coltrane, Beck, Vince Lateano and Victor Wooten among others. Currently a student of The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Sasha will release her next album ‘Azalea’ in September 2019.

As winner of the “LetterOne ‘RISING STARS’ Jazz Award” Sasha will embark in June 2019 on a tour of seven major jazz festivals in North America and Canada such as DC Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Festival NYC, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, Iowa City Jazz Festival | Summer Of The Arts and SFJAZZ Festival. In addition, the will receive a full year of PR and marketing support.

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 and Esbjörn Svensson to 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).