2017 JJA Jazz Awards Winners Named

The Jazz Journalists Association has announced winners of its 21st annual Jazz Awards, celebrating 41 categories of excellence in music and music journalism. Pianists reign, with 78-year old McCoy Tyner celebrated for his Lifetime Achievement in Jazz, 13-year-old Joey Alexander hailed as Up and Coming Musician of the Year, Kenny Barron (73) named Pianist of the Year, the late Bill Evans’ Some Other Time: The Lost Session from the Black Forest (Resonance Records) winning as Historical Recording of the Year, Robert Glasper acknowledged for his use of electronics, and Vijay Iyer cited for his role in Duo of the Year -- his duet partner being trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, recipient of the Musician of the Year Award.

In addition, two pianists won JJA awards for their work in media: Ted Gioia, recipient of the JJA’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism, who played jazz piano, taught and helped set up the jazz program at Stanford University, has composed piano works as well as written ten non-fiction books on jazz and served as editorial director of Jazz.com. Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus and diverse musical collaborations gets the Jazz Blog of the Year Award for Do The Math.

See all winners and finalist nominees for the 2017 Jazz Awards at JJAJazzAwards.org.

Awards for excellence in jazz journalism will be presented at a Chinese banquet at the Golden Unicorn Restaurant, 18 E. Broadway, New York City, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on June 6, tickets available here. Jazz Awards for musical excellence will be presented at winners’ performances throughout the U.S., dates and places to be announced.

Winners of the Jazz Awards were determined by the two-stage voting of full JJA members -- writers, broadcasters, photographers, videographers and other media professionals engaged in disseminating news and views of jazz.

Besides pianists, women musicians are prominent in this year’s Awards. Composer-arranger Maria Schneider, guitarist Mary Halvorson, multi-reeds player and clarinet specialist Anat Cohen, baritone saxophonist Claire Daly, soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, flutist Nicole Mitchell and violinist Regina Carter won their respective categories. RenĂ© Marie won Female Singer of the Year (Gregory Porter won Male Singer of the Year).

Other Awards winners include Composer of the Year Ted Nash, Trumpeter of the Year Brian Lynch, who also won the Record of the Year Award for Madera Latino – A Latin Jazz Perspective on the Music of Woody Shaw (Hollistic MusicWorks), and Krin Gabbard whose Better Git It In Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus (University of California Press) won Jazz Book of the Year.

For further information on the Jazz Awards or the Jazz Journalists Association, contact Howard Mandel, President@JazzJournalists.org