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Winners, nominees, musicians, journos crowd NYC gala and satellite parties across US

JJA Jazz Awards, 15th annual, a smash

Jun 12th, 2011 | By

The 15th annual JJA Jazz Awards celebrations were held yesterday (Sat., June 11), major winners including Sonny Rollins, Joe Lovano, Blue Note Records, Mosaic Records and Ambrose Akinmusire announced at a gala at City Winery, NYC with satellite parties in Arcata and Berkeley CA,  Boston , Chicago, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Tallahassee,  and Washington DC. Some 250 jazz journalists, musicians, record company activists and devotees attended the New York City event, with dozens at the other cities’ parties and more than 8,000 views recorded by UStream, where live video of the event was webcast (not without problems, including an archival failure the JJA is scrambling to fix).

2011 JJA Jazz Awards

TK Blue; Randy Weston; Candido;Hilario Duran; Josh Jackson. Photo by Fran Kaufman

Musical highlights in New York included conguero Candido Camero‘s performance with flutist/saxophonist Jane Bunnett and pianist Hilario Duran, and then with pianist Randy Weston and TK Blue playing flute — also Gregory Porter‘s powerful vocalizing and band and the Hammer Klavier Trio from Hamburg. Saxophonist Antoine Roney led his brother’s strong septet as Wallace Roney was stuck in traffic. Jazz Hero Peggy Cooper Cafritz and Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism award winner Bill Milkowski spoke movingly upon presentations of their awards, as did Sue Mingus (accepting the award for Large Ensemble of the Year) and Antonio Hart, standing in for Book of the Year and Lifetime Achievement in Jazz honoree Jimmy Heath, who was performing in DC.

Jane Bunnett, photo by Fran Kaufman

Winners Jane Ira Bloom (Soprano Saxophonist of the Year), Nate Chinen (Helen Oakley Dance-Robert Palmer Award for writing), Phil Schaap (the Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for broadcasting), editor/publisher Lee Mergner of JazzTimes (Best Periodical of the Year), Patrick Jarenwattananon of A Blog Supreme (Blog of the Year). Joshua Jackson, producer of “The Checkout” from WBGO-FM was a smooth and welcoming emcee of the three-and-a-half hour event, where Brother Thelonious Ale from North Coast Brewing, and  Celebrity Jazz cognac from JTE Spirits were poured courtesy of our sponsors, along with City Winery’s own wines , hors d’ouevres were passed and many attendees preferred schmoozing at the bar to sitting and listening to the presentations.

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter by Fran Kaufman

Sonny Rollins, named Musician of the Year and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year, said “Thank you, I really appreciate it” on a previously recorded sound clip, and was represented by Terri Hinte, his longtime publicist and a JJA “A Team” member. Rollins was also the subject of the Photo of the Year by John Abbott. A photo by Australian photographer Leon Morris of Roy Haynes, a JJA Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Award winner, was raffled off. Fran Kaufman and George Wirt photographed at the Awards, where eyeJAZZ trainees Lindalee Lawrence and Susan Brink may have done eyeJAZZ videotaping, even while IBCreative ran video production for the webcast. Photos of the Awards will be posted shortly, and the JJA hopes to get the archived version of the webcast online immediately.

The Hammer Klavier Trio with M.C. Josh Jackson. Photo by Fran Kaufman

Kate Walsh, publisher of City Arts New York which served as thc Jazz Awards’ media sponsor, was also in the house, as were Peter Cardinali of Alma Records (which supported the Bunnett-Duran performance), Barney Fields (of HighNote/Savant Records, who supported Roney’s ensemble appearance), Jan Matthies of Jan Matthies Music Management (who brought over the Hammer Klavier Trio) and a large party led by Paul Ewing of Motema Records (which supported the Porter and Weston performances). Among other sponsors represented at City Winery were Pi Recordings, Blue Note Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Paulette Dozier, ASCAP, BMI, ECM, Fully Altered Media, Sunnyside Records and The New York City Jazz Record.

The Jazz Awards is a fundraiser for the JJA (there’s still time to donate!) All winners and nominees as well as more photos and reports from satellite parties are posted at  www.JJAJazzAwards.org


About Howard Mandel

Howard Mandel is an author, media and events producer, editor, educator, lecturer and president of the Jazz Journalists Association.

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Filed In: Features, Headliners

One Comment to “JJA Jazz Awards, 15th annual, a smash”

  1. avatar Kris King says:

    Congratulations Howard and JJA ‘Team’!
    It was really wonderful to be able to sit in my office in Toronto and watch the JJA Awards in real-time in New York. Even with glitches (there always are) it was great to be a part of the proceedings when we couldn’t be there in person. Having put on 15 national Jazz Awards in Canada, we know how hard it is to make this happen, the time put in, in hopes that all things will fall into place when the time comes – and it usually does. Job well-done everyone! We appreciate all the work that you do throughout the year to help keep jazz alive and in the hearts and minds of so many.

    Best regards,
    Kris King
    Promotion & Marketing Service: EJN Sampler
    Editor/Publisher eJazz Travel
    Kris King Photography
    Videographer eJazzTV

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