The JCE Jazz Dance Project

Music Licenses

We will be seeking music licenses for the JCE Jazz Dance Project. We can accept only one song per piece. We’ll need the following information:

  • Title of song
  • All composers and lyricists
  • Title of the album the song is from
  • Type of edits, if applicable
  • Length of song (after any edits)

If you have the album cover for your music, the record company and the music publisher are usually listed, so it would be helpful to include this information. The advice we received from a music publisher was to take a photo of the album cover and the publishing information.

It is possible we won’t be able to get the music rights because the companies don’t allow it or charge more than we can afford. If we are not able to get the music licenses, we might have to make the difficult decision to cancel your piece before the performances. But your music choices can lessen the chance of cancellation.


Suggestions regarding music choices

Please avoid music from movie soundtracks, songs by Michael Jackson, the Beatles, and anything owned by Disney. Music from these sources is usually too expensive for us.

For each song, we need to get a license from the music publishers. If you are using a recording, we must also get a license from the record company. The master recording license can be expensive, especially if it’s from a big label (Universal, Warner, Sony, etc.). Using music from lesser known artists and/or smaller record companies will usually cost less and increase our chances of acquiring the license. 

If you’re lucky enough to know a composer, it would be great to use original music. Or if you know a musician who can sing/play and record your music, we would not need a master recording license. We would pay a stipend to the musician. Non-royalty music is also an option. Some choreographers have used music from and

If you are doing an early jazz/ swing piece, look for music in the public domain (music published before 1923). You can search titles here: Public Domain Song List. Some Gershwin and Irving Berlin songs are in the public domain. We would not need a license from a publisher, but if you use a recording of the song, we’d still need a master recording license. If you can use a song recorded by a lesser known jazz bands, that might help.

Some of our choreographers have had a musician arrange, perform, and record their music. We’re reaching out to musicians to see if they can arrange songs and record them for us. If you are using a musical theater, jazz, or pop song, we might be able to have you work with a musician on the arrangement.

We know this is a lot to take in, so feel free to ask questions.


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