Nominees 2016

These are the finalist nominees for the 2016 JJA Jazz Awards. Nominees in most categories were chosen by the votes of the Professional Journalist Members of the Jazz Journalists Association. Nominations were made on the basis of work done in calendar year 2015, with the exception of Lifetime Achievement Awards categories, in which nominations are for a lifetime body of work. Members and others were able to submit their own work for consideration in the Photo of the Year category; a committee of JJA Members chose the nominees in that category from among the submissions. Awards will not be made this year in several categories in which insufficient nominations were submitted. Best Cover Art of the Year is a new category this year.

Winners of the 2016 JJA Jazz Awards in all categories will be determined by the votes of JJA Professional Journalist Members; winners in musical categories will be announced here on on May 15. Winners in media categories will be announced at the JJA Media Awards party, a ticketed event, on June 15 in New York City at the Blue Note Jazz Club.
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Note: We ask that you  DO NOT cut-and-paste or copy the nominee list into your own blog or site, please link to this page instead. We, of course, welcome coverage and commentary on the list that includes some nominee names. If you blog about or report on the nominees we will be happy to link back to you; please send the URL of your blog post or report to

1) Lifetime Achievement in Jazz

Bucky Pizzarelli
Charles Lloyd
Chick Corea
Bobby Hutcherson
Henry Threadgill

2) Musician of the Year

Charles Lloyd
Maria Schneider
Vijay Iyer

3) Up and Coming Artist of the Year

Joey Alexander
Kamasi Washington
Tomeka Reid

4) Composer of the Year

Henry Threadgill
Maria Schneider
Rudresh Mahanthappa

5) Arranger of the Year

Arturo O'Farrill
Maria Schneider
Ryan Truesdell

6) Record of the Year

Bird Calls (ACT Music) - Rudresh Mahanthappa
Break Stuff (ECM) - Vijay Iyer Trio
The Epic (Brainfeeder) -- Kamasi Washington
The Thompson Fields (ArtistShare) - Maria Schneider Orchestra

7) Historical Record of the Year

A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters
 (Impulse-Verve) - John Coltrane
Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol.4 
(Sony Legacy) - Miles Davis
Swingin' On The Korner: Live At Keystone Korner 
(Elemental Music) - Red Garland Trio
The Complete Concert by the Sea
 ( Sony Legacy) -- Erroll Garner

8) Record Label/Platform of the Year

Mack Avenue

9) Male Vocalist of the Year

Gregory Porter
Jose James
Kurt Elling

10) Female Vocalist of the Year

Cassandra Wilson
Cecile McLorin Salvant
Cyrille Aimée

11) Large Ensemble of the Year 

Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

12) Midsize Ensemble 

Charles Lloyd New Quartet
Henry Threadgill Zooid
Kamasi Washington band
Myra Melford Snowy Egret
Rudresh Mahanthappa Bird Calls quintet

13) Trio or Duo

Christian McBride Trio
Fred Hersch Trio
Kenny Barron Trio
Matthew Shipp Trio
Vijay Iyer Trio

14) Trumpeter of the Year 

Dave Douglas
Terell Stafford
Terence Blanchard
Tom Harrell
Wadada Leo Smith

15) Trombonist of the Year 

Conrad Herwig
Marshall Gilke
Robin Eubanks
Steve Turre
Wycliffe Gordon

16) Multi-reeds Player of the Year

Anat Cohen
Charles Lloyd
Scott Robinson

17) Alto Saxophonist of the Year

Miguel Zenon
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Steve Coleman

18) Tenor Saxophonist of the Year

(Sonny Rollins named Emeritus, Beyond Voting in 2013)
Charles Lloyd
Chris Potter
Joe Lovano

19) Baritone Saxophonist of the Year

Claire Daly
Gary Smulyan
Joe Temperley
Ronnie Cuber

20) Soprano Saxophonist of the Year

Dave Liebman
Jane Bunnett
Jane Ira Bloom
Sam Newsome

21) Flutist of the Year

Charles Lloyd
Henry Threadgill
Nicole Mitchell

22) Clarinetist of the Year

Anat Cohen
Ken Peplowski
Paquito D'Rivera

23) Guitarist of the Year

Bill Frisell
John Scofield
Julian Lage
Mary Halvorson

24) Pianist of the Year

Fred Hersch
Jason Moran
Matthew Shipp
Vijay Iyer

25) Keyboards Player of the Year

Craig Taborn
Jason Lindner
Marc Cary
Robert Glasper

26) Bassist of the Year

Christian McBride
Linda Oh
Michael Formanek

27) Violinist/Violist/Cellist of the Year

Jenny Scheinman
Regina Carter
Tomeka Reid

28) Percussionist of the Year

Pedrito Martinez
Poncho Sanchez
Zakir Hussain

29) Mallets Instrumentalist of the Year

Joe Locke
Stefon Harris
Warren Wolf

30) Traps Drummer of the Year

Brian Blade
Eric Harland
Jack DeJohnette
Matt Wilson
Rudy Royston

31) Player of Instruments Rare in Jazz

Gregoire Maret, harmonica
Hendrik Meurkens, harmonica
Scott Robinson, various

32) Electronics

Ikue Mori
Jason Lindner
Mark Guiliana


Winners in the following journalism and media categories will be announced on June 15 at a reception at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City.

33) Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism

Ted Gioia is a writer, educator and musician. He's published ten nonfiction books, including histories of West Coast jazz, the Delta blues, love songs, work songs, jazz standards, and most recently How To Listen To Jazz. From 2007 to 2010 he was editor of; in the 1980s he worked to establish the jazz studies program at Stanford University. He writes for many newspapers and magazines, and blogs frequently on literary as well as musical topics. He is also a columnist for The Daily Beast.

Ted Panken writes for Down Beat, Jazziz, and Jazz Times, among other publications. From 1985 to 2008 he broadcast jazz and creative music on WKCR. He has written more than 600 liner notes, has contributed to the New York Daily News and the now-defunct e-zine, has conducted dozens of public interviews for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and oral histories for the NEA Jazz Masters program. He has posted a  large selection of his articles, uncut interviews, and unedited DownBeat Blindfold Tests on his blog, Today Is The Question 

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair.  He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers, Sinatra: The Song is You, Stardust Melodies, Tony Bennett: The Good Life, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, and Jazz Singing.  He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries.

34) Jazz Periodical of the Year

(this new category combines two former categories, Jazz Publication of the Year and Jazz Website of the Year, to reflect recent changes in jazz media.)
The New York City Jazz Record

35) Blog of the Year

Do the Math (Ethan Iverson)
JazzWax (Marc Myers)
Rifftides (Doug Ramsey)

36) Best Book About Jazz of the Year

Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth
 (Viking/Penguin Publishing Company), by John Szwed
Letters to Yeyito - Lessons from a Life In Music
 (Restless Books), by Paquito D'Rivera
Microgroove: Forays into Other Music
 (Duke University Press), by John Corbett

37) The Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award 

For Writing in the Year 2015

Ashley Kahn
Ben Ratliff
Dan Ouellette
Doug Ramsey
Ethan Iverson
Geoffrey Himes
Giovanni Russonello
Marc Myers
Nate Chinen

38) The Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award 

for Broadcasting in the Year 2015

Eric Jackson (host of "Eric in the Evening" 
on WGBH Boston)
Linda Yohn (music director, host of "89.1 Jazz"
 on WEMU, Ypsilanti, Michigan)
Mark Ruffin (program director of jazz at SiriusXM, 
host "Real Jazz with Mark Ruffin")
Rusty Hassan (host of "Late Night Jazz" 
on WPFW, Washington, D.C.)


39) The Lona Foote- Bob Parent Award 

for Photography in the Year 2015

Jimmy Katz
John Abbott
Ken Franckling
Lauren Deutsch
Michael Jackson
Richard Conde

40) Album Art of the Year

Click link to view full size.
Béla Szakcsi Lakatos/Tim Ries/Robert Hurst//Rudy Royston Climate Change (BMC Records) 
Artist: László Huszár / Greenroom

Dave Ballou - Solo Trumpet (Clean Feed)
Design/artwork by Travassos.

Kamasi Washington - The Epic (Brainfeeder)
Photo by Mike Park

 Tom Blancarte/Peter Evans/Louise D.E. Jensen/Dan Peck The Gauntlet of Mehen (Destiny Records) 
Illustrator/Designer: Lukas Ketner

John Yao and his 17-Piece Instrument - Flip-Flop (See Tao)
Art by David McDaniel

Sonny Simmons/Moksha Samnyasin Nomadic (Svart Records)
Art: Tokio Aoyama

41) Photo of the Year 

 Click link to view full size.

Jean-Louis Neveu - Gerald Clayton

Lech Basel- Hernani Faustino

Luciano Rossetti- Diane Reeves 

Marion Tisserand- Marcus Miller 

Patrick Marek- Lucian Dubuis

Thrassos Irinis- Barney McAll and James King