If you’re a young Italian jazz talent ready to revolutionize the world of music, then NewLands is what you’ve been searching for. With the support of Mercati Generali, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in an exceptional creative lab/residency. Picture yourself exploring new musical horizons, collaborating with extraordinary artists, and bringing innovative jazz to life. It’s time to embrace your creativity and carve your path in the global jazz resurgence. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! Discover all the details and registration information down here.


NewLands is an initiative by Mercati Generali, funded by the Ministry of Culture, aimed at fostering professional growth and promoting young talents through a series of activities encompassing training, research, cultural exchange, and experimentation in the evolving language of jazz.

Jazz is currently experiencing a renaissance, with new scenes emerging worldwide in places like the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Japan. These scenes are reimagining the musical language, exploring uncharted territories, and engaging in collaborations across diverse genres.

At the heart of the project lies a creative laboratory/residency scheduled for autumn 2023, spanning a week. The initial phase involves an open call to identify talents for the Jazz band. Musicians will be selected by a panel of mentors, with the goal of choosing four talents residing in Italy and one young talent from the United Kingdom. The artistic direction and the mentors’ board will select the winning musicians, ensuring representation from various instrument categories.

The purpose of the project is to begin with research into an Italian jazz common ground, specifically by investigating the distinctive fusion language of Italian progressive jazz, the Neapolitan school, and the unique elements of our tradition. Starting from this heritage, a dialogue will be established with the new trends in international jazz. The interaction between young Italian and foreign talents will make this dialogue more organic, aiming not to rely on mere imitation of other scenes, but on the development of an original product based on musical experimentation.

The residency/lab program comprises several phases:

  • Initial Phase – Creativity and Integration: In this stage, musicians will introduce themselves, partake in team-building exercises, meet the artistic direction, and engage in jam sessions. The primary objective is to foster strong bonds among band members and initiate the exploration of international jazz trends. This process will aid participants in reinterpreting and reinventing Italy’s rich jazz heritage through innovative musical languages.
  • Workshops and Training: The subsequent phase involves workshops, masterclasses, and coordinated activities led by Italian and international mentors. These experts will guide musicians through a learning and experimentation journey.
  • Recording: The third phase culminates in the recording of original work created during the intensive week.
  • Final Showcase: The concluding phase features an extraordinary performance by the band, opening for the renowned English pianist Alfa Mist.

NewLands is founded on innovative talent development practices, offering musicians the opportunity to explore the new frontiers of jazz, interact with industry professionals, and create original works with the support of experienced mentors. This intensive experience is designed to broaden horizons and inspire the next generation of jazz talents.


 Laani Henry

Fusing her passion for nu jazz, neo-soul, afro riddims, broken beat & house together, Alanna Henry’s eclectic and hypnotic style brings nothing but vibes to any dance floor. A regular face on the London nu-jazz and live music scene, with a written piece on the scene published in DJ Mag. Currently, Event Producer at seminal organisation & label Jazz re:freshed #20yearsfresh with extensive experience in Marketing at influential indie labels Brownswood Recordings & Strut. Music Programmer for We Out Here Festival for the Brawnswood Stage (2019-2021) with The FullJoy Music brand stage takeovers 2022-2023.

With a diverse range of knowledge and beats in her bag Alanna has been circulating the UK underground club scene, taking the controls at venues such as Oval Space, Corsica Studios, Colour Factory, Ronnie Scotts, The Jazz Cafe, Printworks and spinning at events for promoters like KOKO, Honey Dijon, Heels & Souls, Faith Fanzine & Crack Magazine to name but a few. Festival line ups have included Montreux Jazz, Love International, Worldwide Festival Séte, We Out Here, Lost Village, Jazz Re:Fest & Primavera Sound.

A passionate radio broadcaster, be sure to check the archives of her weekly residency ‘The FullJoy Experience’ show on Worldwide FM. Alanna has hosted many international shows in The Netherlands, France and USA as well as features on Jazz FM, showcasing nu-jazz talent from different parts of the world and guest mixes on Foundation FM, Dekmantel Podcast & Future Disco Radio, expressing Alanna’s penchant for alternative niche sounds across the board. Working in artist management since 2020, and undertaken mentor roles for Steve Reid Foundation Innovation Fund and guest lecturer at the Serious ‘Take Five’ programme, dBs Institute Bristol & Point Blank Music School. Awarded British Council SELECTOR Pro funding for music professionals international collaborative project with Columbia happening in Brighton/London & Bogotá throughout 2023.

Selected as a Year 3 participant of the prestigious Time To Power Up & PRS Foundation programme in 2023, this programme offers funding, mentoring and support through to 2024. Founder of FullJoy Music providing artist management, bespoke marketing/publicity campaigns, consultancy to artists/small labels and project management.

Luciano Cantone

Having moved to Milan from Catania/Sicily in 1984, after working in the record industry as Import Manager and A/R, in 1991 he decided to found the company Edizioni Ishtar/Schema Records, launching artists such as Nicola Conte, Gerardo Frisina, S-Tone Inc, The Dining Rooms, Toco, Rosalia De Souza, Mario Biondi, Alessandro Magnanini, The Invisible Session and many others.
In 1995 he also founded Family Affair Distribution, active until 2012, a company that handled the distribution in Italy of several labels on the international nu-jazz and electronic scene and of reissues.
Music for Luciano has always been a fundamental point of his existence
In 2019, he launched two new record labels “Space Echo” and “Dialogo”, with which he published several artistic projects that also saw him involved in both the composition of musical works and the musical performance of some projects.

Gianluca Petrella

Is one of the most recognised Italian musicians in the world. An instrumentalist, composer and producer, he has won Down Beat magazine’s Critics Poll in the ‘emerging artists’ category for two consecutive years and in his career of over 20 years has weaved across the best of the contemporary music scene both on record and on the stages of the most renowned festivals and clubs on the planet. In addition to the important and more than 20-year-long artistic relationship with Enrico Rava, in his varied professional career he has flanked a very large number of Italian and international artists of undisputed prestige: from the Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen to Carla Blay, from Paolo Fresu to Matmos, from Lester Bowie to Manu Di Bango, from Pat Metheny to John De Leo, Dj Ralf, Ricardo Villalobos, Max Loderbauer and Moritz von Oswald.
His long-standing collaboration with producer, DJ and musician Nicola Conte spans more than a decade, while his interest in mixing different artistic disciplines has led him to try his hand at original creations for film, dance and theatre (Exp and Tricks 2010, Liquido 2016, HOODOO, 2019, Flow-La mente Latente, 2015).
ECM, Emi/Blue Note Records, Schema Records, !K7, are just some of the labels that have released Gianluca Petrella’s records, who in 2009 founded his own Spacebone Records and consolidated the already in-depth experience in the field of music production music production acquired by frequenting the world’s best recording studios.
Since 2017, he has been collaborating permanently with Lorenzo Cherubini aka Jovanotti on stages as well as in the studio, and while he continues to play key roles in various artistic projects involving prominent names on the world music scene, including Pasquale Mirra and Dj Gruff, as leader he currently has active the prolific quintet Cosmic Renaissance, (a galactic evolution of the Cosmic Band) and Trio 70’s.



This Open Call is promoted by the Cultural Association Mercati Generali Catania and is part of the NewLands project, supported by the Ministry of Culture. The project’s objective is to create a residency program for musicians under the age of 35 in the field of jazz.


The organizing entity is launching an open call for young artistic talents, musicians, or producers residing in Italy (“Participants”) who have not reached the age of thirty-five at the time of application.

Furthermore, this initiative is extended to one artist, musician, or producer residing in the United Kingdom, with the same maximum age limit for eligibility.

It is important to note that the organizing entity reserves the right to request proof of the required qualifications from Participants at any time.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted from September 30th to October 15th, 2023.

The results of the selection will be communicated by October 18th, 2023.

The Initiative

The Artistic Residency phase will take place from November 8th to 12th at Mercati Generali Catania.

Applications shall be submitted during the specified period, from September 30th at 00:01 to October 30th at 23:59. A total of 5/6 talents, one for each of the designated categories, will be selected based on assessments by mentors.

All interested individuals, as described in the “Recipients” section, must register through the website

Participation Requirements

To complete the registration, each candidate must:

  • Select the category in which they wish to participate.
  • Complete an online form, providing all requested personal information and an introduction.
  • Upload their repertoire and portfolio, following the instructions provided on the website.
  • Accept the clause regarding the use of personal data and confirm ownership of the materials submitted. Additionally, participants must declare that they have read and fully accepted the terms and conditions of participation.

A good knowledge of the English language is required.

Each candidate may participate in the selection in only one category among those available, and all materials submitted must be original and created by the candidate. By participating in this initiative, each user declares full ownership of the materials submitted through the website.

Selection of Winners

All applications received during the specified period and in compliance with the provided instructions will undergo evaluation. The mentor board, led by the artistic director, will be responsible for selecting a winner and a reserve winner for each of the categories. This selection will be based on criteria such as originality, expertise, personality, style, and taking into account diversity and gender balance criteria. Selected candidates will be contacted via email for further instructions regarding their participation in the artistic project.

In the event that one or more selected candidates do not respond within the specified time or according to the required procedures, or do not meet the age requirements, the organization reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to contact one or more of the selected participants as reserves for the winner. These reserve participants will be required to provide the organizers with the same acceptance documentation, following the methods and terms indicated in the communication, under penalty of exclusion from the project.

The organization disclaims any responsibility for technical problems related to participants’ email.

Participants selected in each category will be involved in an artistic residency project that includes:

  • Accommodation.
  • Meetings and workshops with mentors.
  • Creation of original material.
  • Preliminary support for potential record production.

Participation in the project cannot be transferred to third parties, converted into money, or modified in any way. Participation is free, and the project has no profit or commercial purposes.

Expences Reimbursement

The organization anticipates reimbursing travel expenses incurred by selected candidates, in addition to covering all costs related to accommodation.

Personal Data

Participants’ personal data will be processed in accordance with Mercati Generali’s privacy policy. Before confirming their registration, each participant must review and accept this policy. The privacy policy can be found at the following link.


Registration is closed, the results will be published on October 19 at 14.00