PIANISTS HOLD THE KEYS TO SUCCESS IN 21st ANNUAL JAZZ JOURNALISTS' AWARDS
May 18, 2017 by Helen Borgers

McCoy Tyner demonstrating his incredible dexterity and musicianship in a solo performance of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.”

 

The Jazz Journalists Association has announced the winners of its annual Jazz Awards, celebrating 41 categories of excellence in music and music journalism. Among the winners this year are 78-year-old McCoy Tyner for his Lifetime Achievement in Jazz, 13-year-old Joey Alexander as Up and Coming Musician of the Year, 73-year-old Kenny Barron as Pianist of the Year, and the late Bill Evans’ Some Other Time: The Lost Session from the Black Forest on Resonance Records for Historical Recording of the Year.

  

Joey Alexander playing “Giant Steps” in a trio setting two years ago from his debut disc, My Favorite Things.  He was eleven years old!

 

 

This is a five-minute mini-documentary about the Bill Evans’ Lost Session on Resonance Records. And congratulations to Resonance for also winning Record Label/Platform of the Year!

 

Two pianists also won JJA awards for their work in media: Ted Gioia, recipient of the JJA’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism, played jazz piano, taught and helped set up the jazz program at Stanford University, has composed piano works, has written ten non-fiction books on jazz, and served as editorial director of Jazz.com; and Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus gets the Jazz Blog of the Year Award for “Do The Math.”

 

And the winner for Arranger of the Year is a piano player, too: Maria Schneider!

 

Winners in other categories include Rene Marie as Female Jazz Vocalist, Anat Cohen won in two categories (Multi-Reeds Player and Clarinetist), Regina Carter won Violinist of the Year, Wycliffe Gordon won Trombonist of the Year, Gregory Porter won Male Jazz Vocalist, saxophonist Ted Nash won the Composer award, and Trumpeter of the Year, Brian Lynch, also won the Record of the Year Award for Madera Latino – A Latin Jazz Perspective on the Music of Woody Shaw.

 

Ted Nash playing with Warren Wolf, Gary Versace, Rufus Reid, and Matt Wilson. They open with Monk’s “Epistrophy,” and then get into an original by Ted.

 

Mallets Instrumentalist of the Year went to vibraphonist Warren Wolf, who will be part of the tribute to Bobby Hutcherson at this year’s Playboy Jazz Festival.

 

The Christian McBride Trio in action!

 

And Bassist of the Year went to Christian McBride, who will be headlining the KJazz Summer Benefit Concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, June 24th!  (V.I.P. tickets and General Admission tickets are available at www.jazzandblues.org.)

 

The Jazz Journalists Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the best use of media of all kinds --new and old, online and off-- to tell the story of jazz and develop new jazz audiences.

  

See all winners and finalist nominees for the 2017 Jazz Awards at www.JJAJazzAwards.org.

 

On-air personality, Helen Borgers, can be heard on KJazz 88.1 FM from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. As a jazz broadcaster, Helen has been invited to give pre-concert lectures at various performing arts centers, served on panels in jazz conventions all over the world, and lectured about the history of jazz in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She has also written articles for international jazz publications and regularly emcees concerts, festivals, and club dates throughout southern California.
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