The inaugural Jazz Music Awards will take place this year and creator and executive producer Wendy F. Williams has announced the recipients of six honorary awards and nominees for eight categories. The Awards are divided into three categories; Innovator, Composer and Educator. Saxophonist and bandleader Wayne Shorter will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Dr. Lenora Helms Hammond will receive the Jazz Educator Award.
Jean & Marcus Baylor, also known as The Baylor Project received three nominations for their release, Generations; along with Orrin Evans with two nominations for The Magic of Now and EEE (Eubanks-Evans-Experience) with well-known TV personality Kevin Eubanks; 2023 NEA Jazz Master and Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny Garrett with two nominations for Sounds From The Ancestors; eight-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride with two nominations with his band Inside Straight for Live at the Village Vanguard; acclaimed jazz harpist Brandee Younger with two nominations for Somewhere Different; and contemporary jazz keyboardist Brian Culbertson with two nominations for The Trilogy Red. Contemporary flutist Ragan Whiteside, jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, and multi-instrumentalist and producer Ben Tankard are also among the nominees.
“We are honored to recognize and present a wide range of dynamic and innovative artists including our six award honorees and our thirty-three nominees. I am still amazed that in 2022, a dedicated global Jazz award show in North America has never been done at this level. I am thrilled that we can step into this space to honor and recognize musicians and the entire genre in this way. We are making history and we are just getting started,” says Wendy F. Williams, creator and executive producer of the Jazz Music Awards, as well as the General Manager of NPR-affiliate Jazz 91.9 WCLK. “Jazz music has been an essential part of the legacy of Jazz 91.9 WCLK, which will be celebrating fifty years on the air in 2024, from its home on the campus of Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. By recognizing our honorees and nominees, we are giving thanks for their incredible artistry that furthers the richness of the Jazz tradition, which is integral to American music and culture.”
Ledisi, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ledisi, Lizz Wright and Jazzmeia Horn will perform under Terri Lyne Carrington’s musical direction. The ceremony will take place on October 22nd at the Cobb Energy Performance Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA. Tickets are on sale now and more information about the awards can be found at jazzmusicawards.com.