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January 11, 2017
Jon Cleary

#BuskForYourSeat to join BA’s sold-out Mardi Gras party flight

British Airways is on the hunt to find and showcase three undiscovered jazz musicians.

The airline is looking for the next Louis Armstrong to perform during a sky high gig on a VIP party flight to the home of jazz.

The three talented winners will ‘busk’ to 150 guests on British Airways’ exclusive charter flight to Mardi Gras to launch the airline’s new route to New Orleans.

Grammy winning singer, songwriter and pianist, Jon Cleary, and double MOBO award-winning saxophonist, YolanDa Brown, will judge the entries and Brown and singer Nicole Scherzinger, will also be playing on board.

Entrants will need to be aged over 21 years old and able to travel from London to New Orleans on February 24 and are asked to send in a video, up to five minutes long, of them performing.  The best buskers will each win a pair of seats on the flight, three night’s accommodation at the Hyatt Regency and Mardi Gras VIP grandstand parade tickets.

YolanDa Brown said: “New Orleans is known across the globe as the home of jazz - even the airport is named after Louis Armstrong! We are really excited to take three of the best new and emerging jazz musicians to the festival and help us get the party started on board. ”

Jon Cleary, who will be performing at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in January, said: “As someone that was born in London and grew up in New Orleans this new bridge between these two wonderful cities is very exciting, and it’s a privilege to be involved. I look forward to hearing the talent that’s to be part of the celebration. Here in New Orleans, celebration and music are something we’re famous for!”

The deadline for entries is 17.00 GMT on January 25, 2017 and the three winners will be contacted by 17.00 GMT on February 3, 2017.

As well as the live in-flight entertainment, guests will be treated to a New Orleans inspired Creole menu and shake signature cocktails with mixologists ‘flaring’ on board.

From March 27, 2017 British Airways will launch a four times a week service from Heathrow and will be the only airline flying direct between Europe and the Louisiana city.

The charter will depart Heathrow at 10.00 GMT on February 24, 2017, arriving into Louis Armstrong International Airport at 14.00 GMT, with the return flight departing New Orleans at 23.25 GMT on February 27, 2017 and arriving in to Heathrow at 14.10 GMT the following day.

For more information visit:


Notes to Editors:

Full terms and conditions
•    Eligible entrants are invited to submit a video recording of themselves in performance by 17.00 GMT on January 25, 2017. 
•    You may enter on any instrument or voice, except for piano or drums due to space constraints on the aircraft, and may perform any genre of jazz. 
•    You may play with a band, solo or duo, or in any combination, as long as your individual performance is showcased and the judges are able to assess it.
•    Duos are eligible to enter but only two seats will be given per winning entry. For example if a solo artists wins they are able to bring a guest, but if a duo wins they will not be able to bring a guest. 
•    Only the eligible entrant or duo named in the entry (not the band) will be entered into the competition. 
•    Your pieces should be filmed in a single take with no editing within each piece. The total duration of your video should not exceed 5 minutes. 
•    The quality of the video should be good enough for the judges to assess your performance, but does not have to be of a professional standard. 
•    Your video must be submitted via email to with a Vimeo or YouTube download or viewing link. Please say your name, age and instrument at the start of the video. The email should be accompanied by your name, instrument, telephone number, hometown and the piece or pieces you are playing in your video in order of performance.
•    Entries will be judged by YolanDa Brown and Jon Cleary on January 27. All three winners will be notified by 17.00 GMT on February 3, 2017. 

•    To be eligible the following criteria must be satisfied: 
•    Age – You should be 21 years or over on February 24, 2017 
•    Residency – The competition is open to entrants across the globe but winners must be in London to join the VIP charter that departs at 17.00 GMT on February 24,  2017
•    Passport – Entrants must have a valid passport and an ESTA or visa allowing entrance in to the US
•    Travel insurance – Entrants must have adequate travel insurance  
•    Incidentals - British Airways will cover return World Traveller flights to New Orleans on the VIP charter for the winner and one guest each, three nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at the Hyatt Regency in a double or twin room, Mardi Gras grandstand parade tickets and return transfers from Louis Armstrong International Airport to the hotel. 
•    Performance – Winners must be willing to perform a gig between 10 and 20 minutes in length on the outbound charter flight. 

For further information, please contact the British Airways press office on 020 8738 5100.


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