NEW YORK – The Jazz Journalists Association today announced winners of 2014 JJA Jazz Awards in 32 categories of musical achievement. Herbie Hancock — the man behind International Jazz Day (April 30) as UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialog and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz – is being honored for his Lifetime Achievement in Jazz. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Hancock’s frequent collaborator, has been voted Musician of the Year.
In the 18th annual Jazz Awards presented by the JJA, an international non-profit organization of writers, photographers, broadcasters, videographers and new media professionals, Without A Net, by Shorter’s quartet (winner of Midsize Ensemble of the Year) was voted Record of the Year. Vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, debuting in 2013 with her album WomanChild, was named Up and Coming Artist of the Year as well as Female Singer of the Year. Gregory Porter was voted Male Singer of the Year, Maria Schneider Composer and Arranger of the Year, and her Orchestra best Large Ensemble.
Winners of Jazz Awards will be presented with engraved statuettes at their performances throughout the U.S. Winners are chosen through a two-month, two-ballot voting process. Recipients of JJA Jazz Awards for excellence in journalism and media will be announced at a party at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City on June 11, which will feature musical performances by Elio Villafranca’s Jass Syncopators, Sheila Jordan with Cameron Brown, and Stephanie Richards’ Trumpet Ensemble. Tickets for that event are now on sale: the general public is invited.
Among the many highlights in the lengthy careers of Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter were their joint tenures in Miles Davis’ 1960s quintet. Davis’ influence on current jazz remains powerful, according to JJA members who voted for Miles Live in Europe 1969 as Historical Record of the Year, and also honor Davis-associated Jack DeJohnette as Traps Drummer of the Year.
New jazz stars are also acclaimed by the JJA: besides Cecile McLorin Salvant, pianist Craig Taborn, percussionist Pedrito Martinez and electronics player Jason Lindner have won Awards for the first time. However, veteran musicians who have won Jazz Awards previously dominate, with saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, trombonist Roswell Rudd, bassist Christian McBride, mallet instrumentalist Gary Burton, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith all receiving honors for their musical achievements in 2013.
The JJA Jazz Awards again cites the advancement of women in jazz, with Awards going to violinist Regina Carter, soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, flutist Nicole Mitchell, and clarinetist Anat Cohen – all previous winners.
The complete list of winners of 2014 JJA Jazz Awards for musical achievement, the list of all 2014 nominees and biographies of 24 Jazz Heroes are viewable at