Announcement of the nominees and winners of the first Jazz Music Awards 2022

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From Best Duo to Best Group, and more, the inaugural Jazz Music Awards have announced their first thirty-three nominations.

by Stacy SimonsSantos by Celebrity Access

The awards ceremony exclusively celebrating jazz music, The Jazz Music Awards: Celebrating the Spirit of Jazz, and its creator and executive producer, Wendy F. Williams, announce the recipients of six honorary awards and the nominees in eight categories of competitive prices.

These special accolades, along with the thirty-three nominees, recognize individuals who have made and continue to make lasting contributions to jazz music. These well-deserved honors will be presented at the Jazz Music Awards ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to the saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter; the Jazz Legend Award will be presented to the family of the late pianist and composer McCoy Tyner. There are three categories of Distinction Awards: Innovator, Composer and Educator. Modern jazz trumpeter and composer Ambroise Akinmusire will receive the Jazz Innovator Award; avant-garde saxophonist, woodwind player and composer Henry Threadgill will be honored with the Jazz Composer Award; singer and composer Dr Lenora Helm Hammonds will receive the Jazz Educator Award, and veteran musician and educator Dr. James H. Patterson will receive the Jazz Impact Award.

Additionally, the final four nominees were announced in eight competitive categories; a tie in the Best Duo, Group, or Big Band category resulted in five nominees, while submissions in the Best International Artist category did not meet the Jazz Music Awards submission criteria, resulting in the removal of that award of the final ballot this year.

Some of the nominees include:

Jean & Marcus Baylor, four Grammy-nominated artists, also known as The Baylor Project,received three nominations for its release, Generations; in the same way Orrin Evans with two nominations for The magic of the moment and EEE with a well-known television personality Kevin Eubanks; 2023 NEA Jazz Master and Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny Garrett with two nominations for The sounds of the ancestors; eight-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride with two nominations with his group Inside Straight for Live at the Village Vanguard; acclaimed jazz harpist Brandée Young with two nominations for Somewhere different; and contemporary jazz keyboardist Brian Culbertson with two nominations for The Red Trilogy.

“We are honored to recognize and present a wide range of dynamic and innovative artists, including our six winners and our thirty-three nominees. I’m still amazed that in 2022, a global award show dedicated to jazz in North America has never been achieved at this level. I’m thrilled that we can step into this space to honor and recognize musicians and the genre as a whole in this way. We’re writing history and just getting started,” says Wendy F. Williams.

An added attraction during the Jazz Music Awards will be several live performances. These will include appearances from several acclaimed jazz vocal talents: NEA Jazz Master and Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning artists. Dee Dee BridgewaterGrammy Award-winning artist Ledisiprominent jazz/gospel/blues singer Lizz Wrightand four-time Grammy-nominated artist Horn Jazzmeia. All performances will be under the musical direction of NEA Jazz Master and three-time Grammy Award-winning artist and composer Terri Lyne Carringtonwho serves as musical director and co-executive producer for the inaugural ceremony.

“The Jazz Music Award is a necessary and important platform for the jazz community,” said Carrington, founder of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. “It is essential that we highlight and celebrate artists from all jazz hybrids, many of whom have been overlooked or unrecognized throughout their careers.”

For a complete list of nominees and winners, please visit jazzmusicawards.com and wclk.com.

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Henry R. Wright