2012 Nominees & Winners

JJA Jazz Awards 2012 Nominees & Winners

UPDATE 6/20: 2012 Winners are indicated below.

These are the finalist nominees for the 2012 JJA Jazz Awards. Nominees in the first 38 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 2011, 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 nomination in the Best Liner Notes and Photo of the Year categories. Best Shortform Online Video of the Year nominees were selected by a committee of JJA videographers.

Winners of the 2012 JJA Jazz Awards in all categories will be determined by the votes of JJA Professional Journalist Members and will be announced during the month of June, leading up to announcement of Lifetime Achievement Awards winners, Musician of the Year, Record of the Year, Male and Female Jazz Vocalists of the Year at a cocktail party to be held at the Blue Note Jazz Club, New York City, on June 20, 4 to 6 pm. Information on ticket sales for that event will be posted at JJAJazzAwards.org

For further information about the Awards or becoming an Awards sponsor email jazzawards@jazzjournalists.org

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 admin@jazzjournalists.org

*2012 Awards Winners*


1) Lifetime Achievement in Jazz

Muhal Richard Abrams
Ron Carter
Wayne Shorter
*Horace Silver*

2) Musician of the Year

Ambrose Akinmusire
Vijay Iyer
Joe Lovano
Christian McBride
*Sonny Rollins*

3) Composer/Arranger of the Year

John Hollenbeck
Guillermo Klein
Vince Mendoza
*Maria Schneider*

4) Up and Coming Artist of the Year

Chris Dingman
Tyshawn Sorey
*Ben Williams*
Warren Wolf

5) Record of the Year

James Farm (Nonesuch)
Keith Jarrett, Rio (ECM)
Christian McBride's Big Band, The Good Feeling (Mack Avenue Records)
*Sonny Rollins, Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy Records)*
Wadada Leo Smith's Organic, Heart's Reflections (Cuneiform Records)
Craig Taborn, Avenging Angel (ECM)
Miguel Zenon, Alma AdentroThe Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

6) Best Historical or Boxed Set

*Miles Davis, Bootleg Sessions, Vol 1, Quintet Live in Europe 1967 (Columbia Legacy)*
Julius Hemphill, Dogon A.D. (Mbira/Freedom-International Phonograph)
Bill Dixon, Intents and Purposes (RCA Victor-International Phonograph)
Roscoe Mitchell, Before There Was Sound (Nessa)
The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions (Mosaic)

7) Label of the Year

Clean Feed
Pi Records
Sunnyside Records

8) Large Ensemble

John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Maria Schneider Orchestra
*Mingus Big Band*
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

9) Small Ensemble

James Farm
Jason Moran & Bandwagon
*Joe Lovano Us Five*
SFJazz Collective

10) Male Singer of the Year

Freddy Cole
*Kurt Elling*
Giacomo Gates
Gregory Porter

11) Female Singer of the Year

Karrin Allyson
Rene Marie
*Gretchen Parlato*
Tierney Sutton

12) Trumpeter of the Year

*Ambrose Akinmusire*
Tom Harrell
Brian Lynch
Wadada Leo Smith

13) Trombonist of the Year

Steve Davis
Robin Eubanks
*Wycliffe Gordon*
Steve Turre

14) Multi-reeds Player of the Year

James Carter
*Anat Cohen*
Roscoe Mitchell
Ted Nash
Scott Robinson

15) Alto Saxophonist of the Year

Lee Konitz
*Rudresh Mahanthappa*
Phil Woods
Miguel Zenon

16) Tenor Saxophonist of the Year

J.D. Allen
Joe Lovano
Chris Potter
*Sonny Rollins*

17) Baritone Saxophonist of the Year

James Carter
Ronnie Cuber
Claire Daly
*Gary Smulyan*

18) Soprano Saxophonist of the Year

*Jane Ira Bloom*
Dave Liebman
Branford Marsalis
Wayne Shorter

19) Flutist of the Year

Jamie Baum
*Nicole Mitchell*
Lew Tabackin

20) Clarinetist of the Year

Don Byron
Evan Christopher
*Anat Cohen*
Ken Peplowski

21) Guitarist of the Year

Mary Halvorson
*Bill Frisell*
Pat Metheny
John Scofield

22) Pianist of the Year

*Vijay Iyer*
Keith Jarrett
Matthew Shipp
Craig Taborn

23) Keyboards Player of the Year

Joey DeFrancesco
Larry Goldings
Mike LeDonne
*Gary Versace*

24) Bassist of the Year

Ben Allison
Ron Carter
*Christian McBride*
William Parker
Esperanza Spalding

25) Violinist/Violist/Cellist of the Year

Billy Bang
*Regina Carter*
Mark Feldman
Jenny Scheinman

26) Percussionist of the Year

Cyro Baptista
Hamid Drake
Sammy Figueroa
Marilyn Mazur
Adam Rudolph
*Poncho Sanchez*

27) Mallets Instrumentalist of the Year

*Gary Burton*
Stefon Harris
Joe Locke
Warren Wolf

28) Traps Drummer of the Year

Jack DeJohnette
Eric Harland
*Roy Haynes*
Paul Motian
Matt Wilson

29) Player of Instruments Rare in Jazz

Edmar Castaneda, harp
Gregoire Maret, harmonica
*Toots Thielemans, harmonica*
Gary Versace, accordion


30) Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism

*Amiri Baraka*  is the author of Blues People: Negro Music in White America (1963), Black Music (1968), The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues (1987), Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music (2010) and other books of essays, poems, drama, fiction and criticism. His awards and honors include an Off-Broadway Theater Award (Obie), the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award, the James Weldon Johnson Medal for Contributions to the Arts, and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at Yale University and Columbia University, is Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and was the Poet Laureate of New Jersey. He has issued recordings of his work, and has performed with William Parker’s Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield project.

 Stanley Crouch is the author of the essay collections Considering Genius: Writings on Jazz (2007), Notes of a Hanging Judge: Essays and Reviews, 1979-1989 and The All-American Skin Game, or, The Decoy of Race: The Long and the Short of It, 1990-1994, as well as the novel Don't the Moon Look Lonesome (2004) and Kansas City Lightning: The Life and Times of Young Charlie Parker (2009). Crouch is a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News, has written many album liner notes, and has published in the Village Voice, Newsweek, The New Yorker and JazzTimes. He was an historical adviser for Ken Burns' 2001 PBS documentary Jazz and has been a close consultant to Wynton Marsalis. A former drummer and music programmer at the Tin Palace in New York City, Crouch is currently president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.

Will Friedwald writes about jazz and nightlife for The Wall Street Journal. He has also written for JazzTimes, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Newsday, The New York Observer, The New York Sun, Entertainment Weekly, Oxford American, New York, Mojo, BBC Music Magazine, Stereo Review, Fi(Delity), and other music and film journals. He is the author of eight books on music and popular culture, including Sinatra! The Song Is You: A Singer's Art (1997), Stardust Melodies: A Biography of 12 of America's Most Popular Songs (2004),Jazz Singing: America's Great Voices From Bessie Smith To Bebop And Beyond (1996), and A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers (winner of a 2011 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award). Friedwald has written liner notes for many recordings and has been a Grammy nominee for several of these.

Willard Jenkins has written for JazzTimes, DownBeat, Cadence, Jazz Notes, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cleveland Jazz Report, City Pages (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Twin Cities Reader, Inside Arts, Schwann Spectrum, Schwann Opus, Jazz Forum, The Antioch Review, Attache, Jazz Education Journal, All About Jazz, Amazon.com, NPRJazz.org, NetNoir.com, Impact247.com, Africana.com, and currently blogs at The Independent Ear (www.openskyjazz.com). He is the author of Insights on Jazz (1988), contributor of two chapters to Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment (2010) and a chapter of David Baker: A Legacy in Music (2011), co-author of African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston (2010), and editor of Lost Jazz Shrines (1988). As a broadcaster, his affiliations have included WKSU (Kent, Ohio), WABQ (Painesville, Ohio), WERE (Cleveland, Ohio), KFAI (Twin Cities), WWOZ (New Orleans), XM Satellite Radio, and Black Entertainment Television. He currently hosts his "Ancient Future" radio show on WPFW (Washington, DC).   While working with Arts Midwest, he instituted the meeting in 1998 that resulted in the formation of the Jazz Journalists Association. He is a former vice-president of the JJA.

Neil Tesser is the author of The Playboy Guide To Jazz (1998) and has written more than 300 sets of liner notes. He has been a jazz columnist for Playboy magazine and Jazziz, jazz critic for USA Today, the Chicago Sun‑Times and the Chicago Reader, contributor to Rolling Stone and the New York Times (Chicago edition), broadcaster on WBEZ-FM (Chicago), co-host of Listen Here! (a nationally syndicated program), and an associate editor of DownBeat. He currently reports regularly on jazz on Examiner.com.

31) The Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award

For Writing in the Year 2011

*Larry Blumenfeld* is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal and the Village Voice, editor-at-large and columnist for Jazziz, Inside Arts, Truthdig.com and ListenGood. He has also published in the New York Times, Salon and Entertainment Weekly, had an essay inBest Music Writing 2008, and has written CD liner notes. He’s been a Katrina Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute, and a National Arts Journalism Program fellow

Nate Chinen writes for the New York Times and JazzTimes and was published in Best Music Writing of 2011. He is the co-author of George Wein's autobiography Myself Among Others: A Life In Music (2004), and blogs at The Gig. He has previously won the JJA's Dance-Palmer Award six times.

Marc Myers writes on jazz for The Wall Street Journal and blogs daily at JazzWax.com, on which he has conducted more than 300 multi-part interviews with jazz, rock, and R&B musicians and has posted commentary on rare and contemporary recordings. JazzWax is syndicated by Jazz.FM91 (Toronto) and by All About Jazz.

32) The Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting

*Josh Jackson* is Special Projects Producer/Host of The Checkout on WBGO-FM, is heard on “Live at the Village Vanguard” and hosts “The Checkout: Live at 92Y Tribeca” and “The Checkout: Live at Berklee.” He won the JJA's Conover-McPartland Award in 2010.

Jim Wilke who is Seattle-based, has been on the air for 55 years hosting his jazz radio shows, including Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International (70 stations) since 1984 and Jazz Northwest on KPLU-FM since 1988. He has been a location recordist since 1962 (Ellington, Coltrane, MJQ, Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, etc.) and has conducted many radio interviews. He has been named in the JazzTimes Readers Poll and the JazzTimes Critics Poll and has been nominated for the Conover-McPartland Award in multiple years.

Linda Yohn is Music Director of WEMU-FM (Ypsilanti, Michigan) and host of its 89.1 Jazz show (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), and co-producer, writer, and host of The Best of the Detroit Jazz Festival, a radio series on KIOS-FM (Omaha). She has been a recipient of JazzWeek’s Major Market Programmer Award for 2009‑2011 and the Duke Dubois Jazz Humanitarian Award in 2006. She is on the board of the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association. Under her direction, WEMU was cited as Outstanding Local Music Station by AnnArbor.com in 2012 and received the Excellence in Local Music Programming award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters in 2012. She has been nominated multiple times for the Conover-McPartland Award.

33)The Lona Foote-Bob Parent Award for Photography

Michael Jackson is a Chicago-based photographer and writer who contributes to DownBeat, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader and Jazzwise (UK), among other publications. He is a member of the Chicago Photography Collective and has been involved in about 20 photography shows during the last couple of years at its gallery, 108 North State Street. In 2011 he had a solo show of his jazz photographs at Gallery 175, Chicago. 

Fran Kaufman's photographs have appeared on the WBGO-FM blog and have been published in Hot House, Jersey Jazz Journal and DownBeat. She has had exhibitions at New York’s Abrons Art Center, the WBGO Gallery, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the Oregon Jewish Museum. This year (2012) she has organized nominations and submissions for the JJA's Photo of the Year Award.

*Herb Snitzer*, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the author of Glorious Days and Nights: A Jazz Memoir (2011). Many of his photographs are collected in Jazz: A Visual Journey (1985) and Photographs from the Last Years of Metronome (2008). Over nearly 50 years, Snitzer has published photographs in DownBeat, Metronome, Life, many other national magazines and newspapers and on hundreds of CD and LP covers. He has had exhibitions at galleries in Boston, St. Louis, Portland (Oregon) and Los Angeles; his work is in collections at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of The City of New York, the New York Public Library, the Tampa Museum of Art, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Bill Cosby Collection in Amherst, Massachusetts.

34) Print Periodical of the Year

The New York City Jazz Record

35) Website of the Year


36) Blog of the Year

"A Blog Supreme" (Patrick Jarenwattananon)
  (Ethan Iverson)
 * (Marc Myers)*
 (Doug Ramsey)

37) Best Book About Jazz of the Year

*Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice (University of California Press), by Tad Hershorn*
Nica's Dream: The Life and Legend of the Jazz Baroness (W.W. Norton & Company), by David Kastin
Here and Now! The Autobiography of Pat Martino (Backbeat Books), by Pat Martino with Bill Milkowski
Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones (University of Minnesota Press), as told to Albert Murray, edited by Paul Devlin, afterword by Phil Schaap
Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews (Chicago Review Press), edited by Chris DeVito
Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane (Wesleyan), by Franya J. Berkman

38) Best Liner Notes of the Year

Writers may submit their own Liner Notes for consideration in this category; links are to the Liner Note text as submitted by the authors.
Eddie Determeyer:   The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions  (Mosaic Records)
*Francis Davis:  Sonny Rollins Road Show, Vol. 2   (Doxy Records)*
Francis Davis: Allen Lowe,  Blues and the Empirical Truth  (Music and Arts)
John Edward Hasse, et al.: Jazz:  Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology   (Smithsonian/Folkways)
Tommy Vig:  The Tommy Vig Orchestra: Welcome to Hungary!   (Klasszikus Jazz Records)
Neil Tesser:  Kevin Kizer: Aspects  (Blujazz Records)
Neil Tesser:  Eric Alexander: Don’t Follow the Crowd   (HighNote)
Neil Tesser:  Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Ugetsu , Ugetsu (Fantasy)
Marc Myers:  Montgomery: Movin', The Complete Verve Recordings  (Hip-O Select)
Marc Myers:  Ella in Japan   (Hip-O Select)
Kevin Whitehead:  Sam Rivers and the Rivbea Orch. - Trilogy   (Mosaic Select)
Kenny Washington:  The Complete Ahmad Jamal Trio Argo Sessions   (Mosaic Records)
Howard Mandel:  The Ethiopian Princess Meets the Tantric Priest  (Rogue Art)
Doug Ramsey:  The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings of the Modern Jazz Quartet  (Mosaic Records)
Doug Ramsey:  Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain   (Entertainment One Music)
A.G. Quintero-Rivera:  Miguel Zenón, Alma Adentro - The Puerto Rican Songbook  (Marsalis Music)
Christian Broecking:  Alexander von Schlippenbach and Manfred Schoof: Blue Hawk  (Jazzwerkstatt)

39) Photo of the Year

These are the finalist nominees selected by the first round vote of JJA Journalist Professional Members from all submitted photos.

 to view captions click on photo (to view captions in large screen view, click on "Show Info" at upper right")

40) Short Form Jazz News Video of the Year

*Victory! The Making of J.D. Allen's Album by Mario Tahi Lathan*

Now that you've seen this year's Nominees, be sure to check out the JJA Blogathon -- a roundup of media profiles of jazz communities,  with contributions from around the world.