Rick Burgess Memorial Music Scholarship


The Rick Burgess Music Scholarship Award was created in celebration of Rick Burgess who passed away on March 2, 2009.  He left his mark on Ann Arbor’s culture as a jazz pianist and restaurant-club owner. Rick, a Chicago native, graduated from the University of Michigan School of Engineering in 1961, but decided to pursue other interests. His formal music education was with the great aficionado Lloyd Reese at his Conservatory in Los Angeles. Reese trained such greats as Charles Mingus, Harry Carney, Ben Webster and Art Tatum. Rick’s profound love of jazz was rooted in the creativity of each performance. He drew his greatest inspiration from the works of Bill Evans and the legendary Thelonious Monk. Jazz’s spontaneity provided the perfect medium for Rick’s creative mind. He gave each of his performances a life of its own.  For decades, Rick successfully shared his passion with this community by creating a live stage for jazz musicians of any genre, including many young talents from local high school jazz programs. The purpose of this award is to support scholarships for enhancing a student’s ability to study jazz performance.

Award Criteria


  • Any Junior or Senior Ann Arbor Public High School student
  • Awards may be used for music camp, lessons, upgraded instruments, sheet music or other enhancements. They may also be applied to college tuition.
  • Must currently be playing jazz music

Application Process:

  • Application can be obtained using the link below.
  • Completed application form (which includes a letter of recommendation template) and required items listed on the application should be submitted to scholarships@aapsef.org.
  • Submission should also include a digital copy of a performance, maximum length 5 minutes.  (If the entire piece is not a solo, ensure that at least 45 seconds of the recorded time is solo).
  • The recipient will be chosen by the Burgess Award Selection Committee comprised of a panel of jazz musicians and members of the Burgess family.

Award Amount:

  • One at $1,200
  • Check will be cut and sent directly to the student. The scholarship announcement may be made at graduation or an awards ceremony, if the school chooses to do so.

Deadline: April 15, no later than 5pm