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Lamont Alum Wins International Jazz Saxophone Competition

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David Bernot (BM '16, PC '17) took first place in the Carinthian International Jazz Award Saxophone Competition.

Announcement  •
David Bernot

David Bernot in performance at the 2022 Carinthian International Jazz Award Saxophone Competition. Photo by Erich Dorfer.

The serene countryside of Carinthia, Austria is the unsuspecting location where an annual international jazz saxophone competition is held. This year, the Carinthian Jazz Award invited three accomplished young saxophonists to compete for a cash prize in Klosterruine Arnoldstein, an 11th-century castle ruin restored into a small concert hall. One of the three finalists was 28-year-old David Bernot, who received both his Bachelor of Music (2016) and a Performance Certificate (2017) from the University of Denver Lamont School of Music. David was a standout student while at Lamont, winning multiple awards including first place in the Jazz Soloist Competition (two years in a row!) and the Downbeat Magazine award for Best College Small Jazz Combo while part of Small Jazz Group I. 

David Bernot
Photo by Erich Dorfer.

The Carinthian Jazz Award is organized by Juilliard alumnus and internationally renowned jazz saxophonist Lukas Gabric. The two other finalists were 2nd place Vetit Suebnukarn and 3rd place Márton Papp, coming from Thailand and Hungary, respectively. The finalists each put on excellent performances which made the jurors' decision-making difficult, but even the audience agreed that David Bernot stole the show. In a vote held at intermission, David was selected to receive an Audience Award in addition to the 1st place prize. Each finalist chose their own program to perform for the jury and audience. David’s selections were an uptempo bebop composition “Little Willie Leaps” by Miles Davis, a medium swing jazz standard “Just Friends” by John Klenner, and his own composition “I Count On Them,” an upbeat and feel-good piece which can be heard on David’s album. Also performing that night was a big band sponsored by the Austrian energy company Kelag. They invited David to be featured with the band after the announcement of the competition winner.

David is currently living in Greeley, Colorado to attend the University of Northern Colorado for his Doctorate in Jazz Composition. He performs many genres of music all around the state, his favorite being jazz. He performs regularly at popular and well-respected Denver jazz clubs like Nocturne and Dazzle. His debut album Never-Ending Cycle was released in partnership with Nocturne in March of 2022 and features the rising star’s own compositions and arrangements played by a group of renowned Denver jazz musicians.

Learn more about David at

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