About Awards

The Jazz Journalists Association  initiated its awards honoring excellence in jazz music, recordings, presentation and journalism in 1997. The winners of the 21st annual JJA Jazz Awards for musicianship will be announced on this site on June 1, 2017 and the honorees will receive their awards at public events in their locale through the summer and fall of 2017.   Winners in the journalism categories will be announced later in June.

Each year, in conjunction with the Jazz Awards,  the JJA also honors "Jazz Heroes,"activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities."   Jazz Heroes are nominated by their communities and usually presented with their Award during a party or other celebration organized by local jazz organizations and open to the public.

Voting for the Jazz Awards for achievements starts with the JJA's professional members being asked to submit up to three nominees in each category. Nominees accumulating the most votes are finalists; ties in some categories result in fewer or more than five nominated finalists. Finalists are voted upon by JJA professional members in a second round to determine Awards winners.
The JJA presents all its Awards as an assertion that informed, professional, independent coverage of jazz across genre is vital to the preservation and promotion of contemporary music, for new and established audiences alike.

top:  Jazz Awards 2006 attendees, ©GENE MARTIN

bottom: 2009 Photo of the year, ©KRIS KING: Hank Jones, Montreal Jazz Festival 2008