Professional Journalist members of the Jazz Journalists Association are voting now for winners of its 21st annual JJA Jazz Awards. Nominees have been named in 41 categories of excellence in music and music-related media. Jazz Awards winners will be announced online at jjajazzawards.org on Monday, May 15, and will receive their engraved statuettes throughout the summer at their performances across the U.S. JJA members, Awards winners and nominees, and their supporters will gather to celebrate the JJA Jazz Awards at a ticketed event in New York City in early June, details to be announced.
Henry Threadgill, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music, acquired the most nominations on the ballot as Jazz Musician of the Year, Composer of the Year, Arranger of the Year, Record of the Year (for Old Locks and Irregular Verbs from Pi Recordings), Multi-Reeds Player of the Year and Flutist of the Year. Threadgill won the 2016 Jazz Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz.
Saxophonist and bandleader Charles Lloyd and pianist and trio leader Fred Hersch tied for second-most nominations. Lloyd is cited for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz, Jazz Musician of the Year, Mid-Sized Ensemble of the Year (Charles Lloyd and the Marvels) and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year. Hersch is cited for Musician of the Year, Record of the Year (Sunday Night at the Vanguard from Palmetto), Pianist of the Year and Duo-Trio of the Year.
Other nominees for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz are Muhal Richard Abrams, pianist and co-founder of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, pianist Ahmad Jamal and pianist McCoy Tyner. Other nominees for Record of the Year are A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (ECM Records), by Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith, who are nominated for Duo or Trio of the Year; Madera Latino - A Latin Jazz Perspective on the Music of Woody Shaw (Hollistic MusicWorks), by Brian Lynch, nominated as Trumpeter of the Year, and Time/Life Songs for the Whales and Other Beings (Impulse!) by Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra (arranged by Carla Bley, nominated as Arranger of the Year).
This year the Up and Coming Musician of the Year category has only three nominees: pianist Joey Alexander, drummer Jerome Jennings, and trumpeter Adam O'Farrill. O'Farrill's father Arturo is a nominee for Arranger of the Year and Large Ensemble (his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra).
The JJA Jazz Awards are the only national honors for media creators and platforms featuring jazz. Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism finalists are Ben Ratliff, formerly of the New York Times, and an author; Will Friedwald, author and contributor to the Wall Street Journal among other publications; Ted Gioia, author, blogger and freelancer writer; Kevin Whitehead, author, freelance writer and critic on Fresh Air, and John Szwed, author, anthropologist and scholar, formerly at Yale and Columbia universities.
The Jazz Journalists Association is a non-profit professional organization of writers, photographers, broadcasters, videographers and new media practitioners.
Complete list of 2017 JJA Jazz Awards nominees.