Monday, June 1, 2009


The Jazz Journalists Association's 13th Annual Jazz Awards

Honoring excellence in music-making, presentation, production, jazz journalism and "A Team" activism and advocacy

Nominations released, Winners to be Announced
at Jazz Standard
116 E. 27th St., New York City
Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 3 to 6 p.m.

In a year notable for the absence of a mainstream jazz festival in New York City, no convention for jazz educators and industry, and cuts affecting many jazz promotional efforts, the Jazz Journalists Association's 13th annual Jazz Awards gala is an especially significant gathering. Some 150 dedicated jazz musicians, record company execs, educators, philanthropists, presenters, publishers and media activists will be on hand at the Jazz Standard on Tuesday, June 16, 3 to 6 p.m., to honor trumpeter, producer and new music supporter Herb Alpert, Dr. David Baker of Indiana University, Bruce Lundvall of Blue Note Records and Dr. Agnes Varis, "angel" of the Jazz Foundation of America, as well as winners voted upon by professional members of the non-profit JJA in 43 categories of accomplishments in music and music journalism from April 15, 2008 to April 15, 2009 and also lifetime achievements.

Jazz Awards finalist nominees who have already reserved seats at the Jazz Awards cocktail-barbeque include Billy Bang, Jamie Baum, Terence Blanchard, Harris Eisenstadt, Hank Jones, Sheila Jordan, Lee Konitz, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Sue Mingus, Arturo O'Farrill, Noah Preminger, Ali Ryerson, Daniel Sadownik, Maria Schneider, Gary Smulyan and Frank Wess. Representatives from Concord Music Group, ECM, Half Note, Justin Time Records, Mosaic, Motéma Music, Resonance Records, Sunnyside, Zenph, Zoho and Portugal's Clean Feed label are expected.

In addition, principals from and AAJ-New York, Hot House,,, Jazz Times magazine, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and PDX Jazz (Portland, OR) will be in attendance.

Advertisers include the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Detroit International Jazz Festival and New England Conservatory. Boosey & Hawkes music publishers and SESAC, the music licensing firm, are contributive sponsors. Scholars such as John Szwed from Columbia University, Dan Morgenstern of Rutger's Institute of Jazz Studies and Martin Mueller of the New School Jazz program will rub shoulders with bloggers including David Adler (Lerterland), Cyril Moshkow (editor of Russia's Jazz.Ru), Marc Myers (JazzWax), Doug Ramsey (Rifftides) and Howard Mandel (JazzBeyondJazz), who is also president of the JJA.

"The Jazz Awards, in its 13th year, is coming to full maturity," says Mandel, who has produced the event with a mostly volunteer staff since its inception. "It's been a tough time, with the suspension of the JVC Jazz Festival in New York and nationwide, with the demise of the International Association for Jazz Education and the evident collapse of the Jazz Alliance International, with downturns hurting jazz record companies The jazz journalists are throwing a party for ourselves, for having survived and adapted as the jazz world has changed, as well as for all the great music people are making, putting on and reporting about now. So we booked exciting performers, ordered fine food and drink, and invited friends from all over. It's going to be, as usual, a good time."

Music for the event will be played by the Charles Tolliver Big Band, Jane Bunnett's Spirits of Havana, pianist Marian Petrescu and guitarist Andrés Öberg, saxophonist Carol Sudhalter with pianist Daryl Sherman, and the Matt Miller trio. Awards will be presented by members of the JJA, including Paul Blair (Hot House), Nate Chinen (New York Times), Yvonne Ervin (Western Presenters Network), Gary Giddins (JazzTimes), Ashley Kahn (NPR), Dan Morgenstern (Jazz Improv), Doug Ramsey (winner of last year's Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism award) and Arnold Jay Smith (

The JJA's "A Team" awards are being given to Alpert (via composer-guitarist John King, newly-named recipient of the 2009 Herb Alpert Award for Music), Baker, Lundvall and Dr. Varis, Seattle high school bandleaders Clarence Acox and Scott Brown, former president of the Jazz Institute of Chicago Steve Saltzman and Chicago cultural historian Timuel Black and proprietor of Los Angeles' Jazz Bakery Ruth Price. Jazz publicist Peter Levinson and author-journalist-musician Richard Sudhalter have been named to the "A Team" of "activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz" posthumously.

"We look at 'A Team' inductees as models for action," Mandel continued, "and at the voted winners of Jazz Awards as embodiments of the spirit of music all JJA members applaud, whoever they vote for. The role of jazz journalists is to document, study, analyze and advance jazz in all its forms and whatever formats are available. Giving Jazz Awards is one way to bring the best of jazz to the forefront, gaining it more attention."

The Jazz Awards also serve as a fundraiser for the Jazz Journalists Association, a 501 (c) (3) group of 450 writers, bloggers, photographers and broadcasters and new media producers located world-wide.Tickets purchased and donations are tax deductible.

To purchase tickets, see For more information on the Jazz Journalists Association, including this years nominees, go to