This research aims to enrich our knowledge of cultural ideology and mediation within jazz by investigating how a core set of beliefs about the music, including collectivity, American exceptionalism and cultural ownership, are (re)produced within two of the oldest ongoing international jazz competitions, the B-Jazz International Contest (1979, Belgium) and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition (1987, U.S.). I will combine insights and methods from cultural musicology, sociology, and history into an interdisciplinary approach that is designed to engage multiple perspectives (historical, demographic), levels (written, visual, aural), and actors (directors, jury, and contenders). The multifaceted impact will target both broad and focused audiences through a dissemination plan that includes academic articles and presentations, public discussions with non-academic stakeholders and public, and a symposium comprising a keynote, research panels, and a roundtable with CCI professionals. As research on jazz contests is virtually non-existent, this project will extend and expand our understanding of the meaning of jazz practices by providing relevant data about music contests and offering innovative interpretations of the cultural politics that surround them. As such, this aligns with recent scholarly concerns with cultural conflict and identity, and its results will be of particular interest to music scholars, CCI professionals, and conservatoire educators and students.