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Henry Threadgill tops the ballot; Fred Hersch and Charles Lloyd also cited for top honors

21st annual JJA Jazz Awards nominations announced

Apr 20th, 2017 | By

The Jazz Journalists Association has announced nominees for its 2017 JJA Jazz Awards, the 21st annual celebration of excellence in music and music journalism. Henry Threadgill, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music and the JJA’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Award, tops the ballot with seven nominations, followed by tenor saxophonist-bandleader Charles Lloyd and pianist-trio leader Fred Hersch, both contending in four categories. All nominations are on view at www.JJAJazzAwards.org

Voting members of the JJA will address 41 categories with almost 200 finalists nominated for excellence in music
and music-related media. Jazz Awards winners will be announced online on Monday, May 15, and will receive engraved statuettes throughout the summer at their performances
across the U.S. 

Threadgill, 73, an intensely original and exploratory composer and performer, is a finalist for the categories Jazz Musician of the Year, Composer of the Year, Arranger of the Year, Record of the Year (for Old Locks and Irregular Verbs from Pi Recordings), Mid-Size

Henry Threadgill, 7-times nominated

d Ensemble of the Year (for his band Double-Up), Multi-Reeds Player of the Year and Flutist of the Year. A Chicago native, he launched his career in the late 1960s from a base in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), co-founded by Muhal Richard Abrams (nominated for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz), with fellow members including Wadada Leo Smith (nominated for Jazz Musician of the Year, Trumpeter of the Year and Record of the Year) and past president Nicole Mitchell (nominated for Flutist of the Year).

Charles Lloyd is nominated for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz, Jazz Musician of the Year, Mid-Sized Ensemble of the Year (Charles Lloyd and the Marvels) and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year; Fred Hersch for Musician of the Year, Record of the Year (Sunday Night at the Vanguard from Palmetto), Pianist of the Year and Duo or Trio of the Year.

Charles Lloyd

Other nominees for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz besides Lloyd and Abrams are tenor saxophonist and composer Benny Golson; pianist Ahmad Jamal, and pianist McCoy Tyner. Other nominees for Record of the Year besides Sunday Night at the Vanguard are A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (ECM Records), by Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith, who are also nominated for Duo or Trio of the Year; Madera Latino – A Latin Jazz Perspective on the Music of Woody Shaw (Hollistic MusicWorks), by Brian Lynch, nominated as Trumpeter of the Year, and Time/Life (Songs for the Whales and Other Beings (Impulse!) by Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra (arranged by Carla Bley, nominated as Arranger of the Year). 

For  2017, the Up and Coming Musician of the Year category has only three nominees: pianist Joey Alexander, drummer Jerome Jennings, and trumpeter Adam O’Farrill. O’Farrill’s father Arturo is a nominee for Arranger of
the Year and Large Ensemble (his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra).

the Fred Hersch Trio — from left: John Hébert (bass, an Awards nominee) , Fred Hersch (piano), Eric McPherson (drums)

First-time nominees up for various awards include Ted Nash, John Beasley, Brian Lynch, Allan Harris, Catherine Russell, Michael Dease, Ryan Keberle, Brian Landrus, Elena Pinderhughes, John Hébert, Little Johnny Rivero and Brandee Younger.

The JJA Jazz Awards are the only national honors for media creators and platforms featuring the music. Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism finalists are Ben Ratliff, formerly of the New York Times, and an author; Will Friedwald, author and contributor to the Wall Street Journal among other publications; Ted Gioia, author, blogger and freelance writer; Kevin Whitehead, author, freelance writer and critic on Fresh Air, and John Szwed, author, anthropologist and scholar, formerly at Yale and Columbia universities.

JJA members, Awards winners and nominees, and their supporters will gather to celebrate the 21st JJA Jazz Awards at a ticketed event in New York City in early June, details to be announced.

For more information on the JJA, the Jazz Awards or the Jazz Journalists Association’s Jazz Heroes, contact Howard Mandel, President@JazzJournalists.org

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