Three 2012 JJA Jazz Awards to Sonny Rollins. Photo by  Tom Wetmore.
Sonny Rollins, saxophone colossus, was the big winner of the 2012 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards, announced this afternoon at a gala party at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. The tenor saxophonist was named Musician of the Year, his album Road Shows, Vol. 2 chosen as Best Record of the Year and he was judged Best Tenor Saxophonist, too. 

Horace Silver, who at age 84 is residing in an assisted care facility in upstate New York, was hailed for his Lifetime Achievement in Jazz.

Amiri Baraka, author of the books Blues People and Black Music as well as plays, poetry and social criticism, was the recipient of an Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism; author Albert Murray, age 94, was honored with a "Words and Music" Award, co-presented by the JJA and the Jazz Foundation of America. Robin Bell-Stevens, executive director of JazzMobile, and Adrian Ellis, recently resigned executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, were celebrated as New York City "Jazz Heroes."

Other Awards in the 40 categories of excellence in music and music journalism voted on by professional members of the JJA went to a broad spectrum of jazz stylists; all the winners are listed below.


Nominees in all categories
These awards honoring excellence in jazz music, recordings, presentation and journalism were presented by the Jazz Journalists Association at the 16th annual JJA Jazz Awards Awards gala on June 20, 2012 at the Blue Note Jazz Club in  New York City.
Note: We ask that you  DO NOT cut-and-paste or copy the entire winners 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 winner names. If you blog about or report on the winners we will be happy to link back to you; please send the URL of your blog post or report to admin@jazzjournalists.org

Lifetime Achievement in Jazz: Horace Silver
Musician of the Year: Sonny Rollins     
Composer-Arranger of the Year: Maria Schneider
Up and Coming Artist of the Year: Ben Williams     
Record of the Year: Sonny Rollins, Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy Records)
Best Historic Recording/Boxed Set: Miles Davis, Bootleg Sessions, Vol. 1, Quintet Live in Europe 1967 (Columbia Legacy)
Record Label of the Year: ECM    
Large Ensemble of the Year: Mingus Big Band
Small Ensemble of the Year: Joe Lovano Us Five     
Best Male Vocalist: Kurt Elling    
Best Female Vocalist: Gretchen Parlato
Trumpeter of the Year: Ambrose Akinmusire  
Trombonist of the Year: Wycliffe Gordon
Multi-reeds Player of the Year: Anat Cohen   
Alto Saxophonist of the Year: Rudresh Mahanthappa
Tenor Saxophonist of the Year: Sonny Rollins
Baritone Saxophonist of the Year: Gary Smulyan    
Soprano Saxophonist of the Year: Jane Ira Bloom   
Flutist of the Year: Nicole Mitchell
Clarinetist of the Year: Anat Cohen
Guitarist of the Year: Bill Frisell   
Pianist of the Year: Vijay Iyer
Keyboard player of the Year: Gary Versace
Bassist of the Year: Christian McBride
Violinist of the Year: Regina Carter
Percussionist of the Year: Poncho Sanchez   
Mallets Instrumentalist of the Year: Gary Burton   
Drummer of the Year: Roy Haynes
Player of Instruments Rare in Jazz of the Year: Toots Thielemans, harmonica

Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism: Amiri Baraka   
Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Writing in the Year 2011: Larry Blumenfeld
Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting: Josh Jackson    
Lona Foote-Bob Parent Award for Photography: Herb Snitzer     
Print Periodical of the Year: JazzTimes
Website of the Year: AllAboutJazz.com
Blog of the Year: Marc Myers' Jazz Wax
Book of the Year: Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice (University of California Press), by Tad Hershorn    
Liner notes of the Year: Francis Davis, Sonny Rollins' Road Show, Vol. 2 (Doxy Records)
Photo of the Year: Chick Corea by Pavel Korbut
Short Form Jazz News Video of the Year: Victory! - The Making of J.D. Allen's Album by Mario Tahi Lathan

NYC Awards Gala Photos by Fran Kaufman

JJA President Howard Mandel on the Jazz Awards and how they "celebrate the world-wide nature of the jazz network."

JJA International Jazz Blogathon April, 2012