These are the finalist nominees for the 2018 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 2017 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. Nominees for the Book of the Year and Album Art categories were also chosen by committees.

Winners of the 2018 JJA Jazz Awards in all categories will be determined by the votes of JJA Professional Journalist Members; winners will be announced here on jjajazzawards.org on May 7.
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


Lifetime Achievement in Jazz
Benny Golson
Ahmad Jamal
Charles Lloyd

Jazz Musician of the Year
Nicole Mitchell
Tyshawn Sorey
Matt Wilson

Up and Coming Musician of the Year
Jaimie Branch
Maria Grand
Jazzmeia Horn

Composer of the Year
Ben Allison
Darcy James Argue
Roscoe Mitchell
Maria Schneider
Tyshawn Sorey

Arranger of the Year
John Beasley
Alan Broadbent
Vince Mendoza
Maria Schneider

Record of the Year
Honey and Salt  Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg – Matt Wilson (Palmetto)
Passin' Thru – Charles Lloyd New Quartet (Blue Note)
Bells for the South Side – Roscoe Mitchell (ECM)
Morphogenesis – Steve Coleman's Natal Eclipse (Pi)

Historical Record of the Year
Bill Evans - Another Time (The Hilversum Concert) (Resonance)
Wynton Kelly Trio/Wes Montgomery - Smokin' In Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (Resonance)
Thelonious Monk- Les Liaisons Dangereuses,  1960 (Sam/Saga)
Jaco Pastorius - Truth, Liberty & Soul (Live in NYC) (Resonance)

Record Label of the Year
ECM Records
Motema Music
Pi Recordings
Resonance Records
Sunnyside Records

Male Vocalist of the Year
Kurt Elling
Giacomo Gates
José James
Gregory Porter

Female Vocalist of the Year
Jazzmeia Horn
René Marie
Cécile McLorin Salvant

Large Ensemble of the Year
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Christian McBride Big Band
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

Jazz Band
Vijay Iyer Sextet
Miguel Zenon Quartet
Steve Coleman and Five Elements
John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension

Trumpeter of the Year
Tom Harrell
Wynton Marsalis
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Wadada Leo Smith

Trombonist of the Year
Michael Dease
Wycliffe Gordon
Ryan Keberle
Roswell Rudd

Multi-Reeds Player of the Year
Roscoe Mitchell
Scott Robinson
Mars Williams

Alto Saxophonist of the Year
Steve Coleman
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Miguel Zenon

Tenor Saxophonist of the Year
Harry Allen
Charles Lloyd
Joe Lovano
Houston Person
Chris Potter

Baritone Saxophonist of the Year
Ronnie Cuber
Claire Daly
Gary Smulyan

Soprano Saxophonist of the Year
Jane Ira Bloom
Dave Liebman
Sam Newsome

Flutist of the Year
Jamie Baum
Nicole Mitchell
Elena Pinderhughes

Clarinetist of the Year
Evan Christopher
Anat Cohen
Ken Peplowski

Guitarist of the Year
Bill Frisell
Mary Halvorson
Julian Lage
John McLaughlin

Pianist of the Year
Fred Hersch
Vijay Iyer
Myra Melford

Keyboardist of the Year
Brian Charette
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Gary Versace

Bassist of the Year
Linda May Han Oh
Dave Holland
Christian McBride
Thomas Morgan

Violinist-Violist-Cellist of the Year
Sarah Caswell
Akua Dixon
Tomeka Reid

Percussionist of the Year
Rogerio Boccato
Zakir Hussain
Pedrito Martinez

Mallet Instrumentalist of the Year
Joe Locke
Steve Nelson
Warren Wolf

Traps Drummer of the Year
Brian Blade
Jack DeJohnette
Eric Harland
Matt Wilson

Player of the Year of Instruments Rare in Jazz
Jose Davila (tuba)
Gregoire Marêt(harmonica)
Scott Robinson (various)
Jason Stein (bass clarinet)
Gary Versace (accordion)


Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism
Will Friedwald, based in New York City,  is the author of Sinatra! The Song Is You: A Singer's Art, 1995 (Deems Taylor Award winner), Jazz Singing: America's Great Voices from Bessie Smith to Bebop and Beyond, 1996; Stardust Melodies: the Biography of Twelve of America's Most Popular Songs (2002); A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers, 2010;The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums, 2017. He was co- and contributing-author of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: An Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons 1989 (with Jerry Beck); Warner Bros. Animation Art – The Characters, the Creators, the Limited Editions, 1997 (with Jerry Beck); The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett, 1998; The Future of Jazz, 2002; Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music, 2015 (by Patty Farmer). He has also been a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Village Voice, Newsday, and Vanity Fair, among many other publications.

Ben Ratliff,  based in New York City, is a journalist and professor, jazz and pop critic for the New York Times (1996 - 2016), with writings in Esquire and a broad range of other publications including the New York Review of Books, NPR, Slate, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, 4Columns, Spin, Lingua Franca, Guardian, Metropolis, Village Voice, Coda, Option, Granta, Bookforum, Jazz Times and Wire. He is author of Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty(2016); The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music (2008); Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (2007,  a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); and Jazz: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings (2002) . He was host of the New York Times Popcast from 2012 to 2016. He teaches cultural criticism at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Patricia Willard ,  based in Washington, D.C., started her career in 1949 as Duke Ellington's research, editorial collaborator and public relations counsel,  and also worked for several other major jazz artists.  She was historical consultant to the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, consultant in Jazz and Popular Music at the Library of Congress and consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts Music Program, Martin Williams's and Billy Taylor's Kennedy Center Jazz Series, and the National Jazz Service Organization. She was contributing editor to DownBeat and Jazz & Pop magazines and columnist and staff writer at JazzTimes. She has conducted oral histories for the NEA Jazz Program, the Smithsonian and the Institute of Jazz Studies and has annotated more than 100 recordings. Her articles and photos have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Billboard, the Los Angeles Times, Herald-Examiner, Daily News,  Antioch Review, the Library of Congress Performing Arts Annual, and many other publications internationally.

Print Periodical/Website of the Year

Blog of the Year
Do The Math,  by Ethan Iverson
Jazz Wax,  by Marc Myers
Rifftides,  by Doug Ramsey
Jazz Lives, by Michael Steinman

Book of the Year About Jazz
Elaine M. Hayes, Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan (Ecco)
Fred Hersch, Good Things Happen Slowly  (Crown Archetype)
Monika Herzig, Experiencing Chick Corea (Rowan & Littlefield Publishers)
Dave Lisik and Eric Allen, 50 Years at the Village Vanguard: Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Skydeck Music)
Bob Porter, Soul Jazz: Jazz in the Black Community, 1945 - 1975 (Xlibris)

The Helen Dance - Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing in 2017
Nate Chinen, since January 2017 director of editorial content at WBGO (Jazz Night in America, Jazz Night in America, The Checkout, other NPR jazz coverage),  ten-time winner of the Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award.  NPR story archive  
Ted Panken, author of articles in DownBeat, Jazziz and other publications, program notes for Jazz at Lincoln Center, liner notes, blog Today Is The Question 
Giovanni Russonello, writing about music for the New York Times, NYT story archive 

The Marian McPartland-Willis Conover Award for Career Excellence in Broadcasting
Sid Gribetz, longtime program host, contributor to Jazz Profiles, WKCR (Columbia University, NYC)
Rusty Hassan, jazz broadcaster in Washington D.C. since student days in 1960s, long on WPFW, currently hosting weekly Late Jazz.
Neil Tesser, Grammy Award winning writer, author and 40-year jazz broadcaster in Chicago, currently producer/host of the WFMT Radio Jazz Network.
Kevin Whitehead, author and educator, in 20th year as jazz critic for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

The Lona Foote-Bob Parent Award for Career Excellence in Photography
Lauren Deutsch, photographer- nominee 2015 Photo of the Year 
Michael Jackson,interdisciplinary artist -- journalist, printmaker, musician, photographer, former chair of JJA Photo of the Year committee, nominee 2017 Photo of the Year
Marc PoKempner, photojournalist -nominee 2018 Photo of the Year award
Antonio Porcar Cano, photographer-  winner of the 2014 JJA Photo of the Year Award, nominee 2017 Photo of the Year , nominee 2018 Photo of the Year, manager of the Jazz Photographers Facebook Group

Album Art of the Year

Art: Jeff Schlanger/musicWitness® 

PJ Perry - Alto Gusto (Cellar Live)
Art: Takao Fujioka

Photo of the Year
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