The Jazz Awards are vital because...

Gary Giddins, award-winning author, critic, essayist, educator, JJA board member and Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism winner, says it all  here. . . 
"We live in a culture that measures achievement by awards -- plaques, baubles, and statuettes -- that can never be a defining measure of who is doing the best work in any arena. Indeed, by limiting the discussion to a few nominees and then choosing one recipient we are acknowledging a certain arbitrariness in the effort. So why bother? For several reasons:
  • The very existence of the JJA and its awards attests to our commitment to an art we love and to give thanks to some of the great artists who have given us more pleasure than we can ever repay.
  • Second, musicians have shown over the several years of the JJA Awards that they not only appreciate our effort, but relish the tribute.
  • Third, the JJA awards focus our attention on what we've heard in the past year and want to remember into the next.
  • Finally, the JJA Awards is an event -- a coming-together of the jazz community, something that happens all too infrequently, and consequently a celebration of this immortal music that has enriched our lives as artists, critics, fans, and human beings.
I've tried to attend all the JJA Awards ceremonies and expect to attend again. I hope you'll be there, too."