The first Jazz Music Awards are scheduled for October 2022 in Atlanta


Atlanta, Georgia – The inaugural Jazz Music Awards: Celebrating the Spirit of Jazz announced their awards ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. For five decades, the premier venue has hosted Broadway shows, ballets, concerts, operas and more. Presented by Jazz 91.9 WCLK, a public radio station licensed to Clark University in Atlanta and known as “Atlanta’s Jazz Station”, the Jazz Music Awards (JMA) will be a dynamic presentation that recognizes the iconic spirit of jazz by shining the spotlight on mainstream and contemporary jazz musicians who continue to make their mark on music and the industry. Hosts, performers, presenters and special winners will be announced at a later date.

The Jazz Music Awards will recognize a wide range of creators from the world of national and international jazz, from traditional and contemporary musicians, singers and major groups to composers, individual songs and complete albums. The eligibility period for the 2022 Awards Ceremony begins April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. Online submissions will begin February 1, 2022 through Saturday April 30, 2022. The award categories are as follows: Best Mainstream Artist , Best Contemporary Artist, Best Duo, Group or Big Band, Best New Jazz Artist (Contemporary or Mainstream), Best Jazz Singer, Best International Artist (Contemporary or Mainstream), Best Mainstream Album, Best Contemporary Album, Innovator Jazz of the Year, Composer of the Year, Educator of the Year, Jazz Legacy Award and Song of the Year (fan vote).

“In the 47 years that WCLK has been on the air, we’ve played and specialized in all genres of jazz,” says Wendy Williams, WCLK’s General Manager, who has been at the helm for 27 years. We play traditional, contemporary, fusion, direct and modern jazz. We’ve run the gamut. This has been the history of the station and quite

Frankly, the secret of our success. We are still standing. And for more than fifteen years, we’ve supplemented our airtime with the presentation of live jazz concerts, which have helped sustain the operations of our nonprofit NPR member public radio station. We’ve always enjoyed sold-out crowds and the joy listeners feel when they see us at gigs.

Williams and David Linton, the station’s program director and former record label executive, reached out to Rushion McDonald, the founder of 3815 Media, who will lead production on the upcoming star-studded celebration. A two-time Emmy Award-winning executive producer and three-time NAACP Image Award winner, McDonald is the host of the popular “Money Making Conversations” podcast. 3815 Media will produce the Jazz Music Awards and its red carpet event with plans to launch live streaming of the awards worldwide.

McDonald’s is the architect behind producing media platforms for major clients, including Steve Harvey’s Career and the highly successful Hoodie Awards, later renamed the Neighborhood Awards. His extensive work as a writer and producer also includes collaborations with other celebrities such as Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Mo’Nique, Tia and Tamara Mowry, Stephen A. Smith, Jamie Foxx and d others from New York. City in Hollywood. He has also created national media campaigns for the State Farm, Ford, JC Penny, General Mills, iHeart Radio, Radio One, NBC, BET and ABC networks, to name a few. For more information about Rushion McDonald, visit

Linton said, “This is an exciting time in Jazz 91.9 WCLK’s 47 year history. I worked with this station as a label executive and know how instrumental it was in the careers of so many artists, especially jazz artists, and it remains so today. When Wendy told me about returning to the station as Program Director in 2018, I was thrilled. Now to have the opportunity to help write another chapter in WCLK’s rich history is an honor. The time has come for the Jazz Music Awards and WCLK is well positioned to deliver this long-awaited awards show. It will be a historical and momentous event for all those who love jazz.

The Jazz Music Awards Committee has recruited three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist and NEA Jazz Master, Terri Lyne Carrington, to lead the musical direction and serve as a consultant for the first-ever awards ceremony. With his technical magic and deep creativity, Carrington has become one of the giants of jazz music today. A multi-talented drummer, composer, producer and educator, Carrington began her professional career at age ten and received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music at age eleven. His artistry and commitment to education earned him honorary doctorates from the Manhattan School of

Music and Berklee College of Music, where she is currently the founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.

To date, she has released eight career albums. She is the first female artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, which she received for her 2013 project, Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue. Since starting her career, she has worked as a much sought-after musician in New York City and later moved to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late-night television as the house drummer for “The Arsenio Hall Show. ” and Quincy Jones. ‘ “VIBE TV”, hosted by Sinbad. To date, Carrington has performed on over a hundred recordings and has been a role model and advocate for young women and men internationally through her teaching and touring careers. She has worked extensively with jazz giants and legends including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, Clark Terry, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, James Moody, Joe Sample, Esperanza Spalding, and more. For more information on Terri Lyne Carrington, visit

“There’s so much excitement and anticipation around the Jazz Music Awards,” says Williams. “I always knew that Terri Lyne was an incredibly talented and very accomplished drummer, songwriter and educator. The more I peel back the layers, the more fascinated I am that she has covered so much territory in her career. She is also a much sought-after musical director for prestigious large-scale jazz and musical productions around the world. And we all know she’s played with and directed some of the best and that’s why she’s perfect for our inaugural awards show.

As a presenter of live jazz shows over the years, selling out some of Atlanta’s biggest concert venues and hosting annual benefit shows, WCLK began presenting artists with its Jazz Legacy Award. In recent years, Williams has noticed, looking across the musical landscape, that there has been a dearth of major broadcast award ceremonies honoring the creativity and work of one of the earliest musical art forms. native to America: jazz. Just as Williams, program director Linton and her team started thinking about having a bigger celebration of jazz, COVID-19 put all performances on hold. “These musicians have been sidelined for a year and a half, and the public has been away,” she says. “I felt we should come back strong.”

Additionally, Williams says, the event will include an educational component on the campus of Clark University in Atlanta, as well as a black-tie awards gala on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, the day before the awards show. . Friday’s program will include interactive sessions from world-renowned experts in the field of jazz, and classes will also include breakout workshops led by leading creators from the music and performing arts industries for high school and college students and the public.

“Attendees will be able to learn and glean something happening in the jazz music industry from some of the best,” says Williams. “So we want to make it an empowering and spectacular weekend that elevates and promotes this music. “As soon as COVID lifted you saw the artists on the road again and the jazz festivals were back. Now, it’s a collective way to have them all on one stage loved, celebrated the same way we see in other music award shows. We need to.

For more information and updates on the Jazz Music Awards and Jazz 91.9 WCLK, visit:

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Henry R. Wright