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Lifetime Achievement in Jazz: Randy Weston

2015 JJA Jazz Awards Honor Musical Excellence

May 15th, 2015 | By

NEW YORK – The Jazz Journalists Association has announced winners of its 2015 JJA Jazz Awards for musical excellence in Awards2014one400calendar year 2014 , and released details about its annual public Jazz Awards party, at the Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 W. 3rd St., NYC, on June 16, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm. Tickets are available at http://members.jazzjournalists.org/event-1939958.

The 19th annual JJA Jazz Awards celebrates Randy Weston, 89-year-old pianist, composer, lecturer, and Brooklyn-born Africanist with its top honor, the Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Award. Recording for six decades and still touring widely, Weston is a frequent presence at Jazz Foundation of America benefits and also played memorably with conguero Candido Camero at the JJA’s Jazz Awards party in 2010. African Rhythms, Weston’s autobiography written with JJA founding member Willard Jenkins, was nominated for the JJA’s Book of the Year Award in 2011.

Piano jazz is a major focus of the 2015 Jazz Awards, as pianist Jason Moran, artistic director of jazz at the Kennedy Center, is cited as Musician of the Year, and pianists Kenny Barron, Chick Corea and composer-arranger-orchestra leader Arturo O’Farrill receive Awards in other categories. Besides being deemed Pianist of the Year, Kenny Barron with bassist Dave Holland wins the Duo or Trio of the Year Award, and their album The Art of Conversation (Impulse!) is Record of the Year.

Guitarist Mary Halvorson and vibist Warren Wolf are first time winners of Jazz Awards, while Gregory Porter, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Pedrito Martinez, Nicole Mitchell, Christian McBride, Anat Cohen, Ambrose Akinmusire, Miguel Zenon, Chris Potter, Brian Blade and Edmar Castañeda are among the repeat honorees.

Winners of 2015 Jazz Awards for excellence in media categories will be announced at the Blue Note cocktail party with music by bassist-vocalist Mimi Jones’ band, singer Antoinette Montague accompanied by keyboardist Dannie Mixon, and Fula Flute, the duo of Bailo Bah and Sylvain Leroux. Musician winners of 2015 JJA Jazz Awards and 2015 Jazz Heroes are invited to the Jazz Awards party at the Blue Note as guests of the JJA, but must reserve tickets at http://members.jazzjournalists.org/event-1939958.

Jazz Awards winners receive engraved statuettes, presented at their summer performances across the United States by JJA member writers, photographers, broadcasters and new media professionals. Jazz Awards winners are determined through open nominations and direct voting by members. The JJA Jazz Awards were established in 1996. Winners of all years and nominees for 2015 are searchable at www.JJAJazzAwards.org.

Major sponsors of the 19th annual JJA Jazz Awards include the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale, Mack Avenue, Motéma Music, ECM and Resonance Records, BMI and Berklee College of Music.

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