The Jazz Journalists Association Announces 2020 Awards Nominees


NEW YORK CITY — Finalists for the 25th annual Jazz Awards presented by the Jazz Journalists Association have been announced at, demonstrating both generational continuity and diversity of talent making music and creating media in coverage of it today. See

Elder and younger musicians, first-time nominees and veterans with career-capping works, women in the vanguard as composers, bandleaders and instrumentalists — some 400 nominees in 39 categories of excellence in jazz music and jazz journalism attest to the enduring strength of a creative community. The JJA also has announced 27 Jazz Heroes, celebrated by local jazz fans in 24 US cities, at

Jazz Awards nominees are chosen by the votes of the professional journalist members of the Jazz Journalists Association, based on work done in calendar year 2018, with the exception of Lifetime Achievement Awards

Among Jazz Award ballot highlights: Reeds virtuosi Charles Lloyd and Roscoe Mitchell, composer-pianists Carla Bley, Chick Corea and Eddie Palmieri, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, renowned for providing the beat on Kind of Blue, Miles Davis’ 1959 classic album, are recognized for their Lifetime Achievements in Jazz. They range in age from 78 (Corea) to 91 (Cobb) years old.

Jazz Musician of the Year (2019) nominees represent a wider age span, as Lloyd and Mitchell are joined by pianist Kris Davis (40), whose Diatonic Ribbons is nominated as Record of the Year; drummer Terri Lyne Carrington (54), founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, who performs on Diatonic Ribbons and released her own album, Waiting Game with her band Social Science, and six-time Grammy winner bassist Christian McBride, whose projects include a big band and New Jawn quartet, as well as hosting the NPR broadcast Jazz Night in America and serving as artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival.

Difficult choices also confront the JJA’s professional members as they vote in journalism categories, with nominees for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism including Larry Blumenfeld, contributor to the Wall Street Journal and Jazziz among many other publications, host of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s “Jazz and Social Justice” presentation series jazz curator of the Spoleto Festival USA and co-founder of the Deer Isle Jazz Festival in Stonington, Maine; Stanley Crouch, author, cultural critic, artistic advisor to Jazz at Lincoln Center, and president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation; Dan Ouellette, an author, columnist and contributor to DownBeat magazine, among other publications; Ben Ratliffe, author and former New York Times critic, and Emmy-winning author Howard Reich, who has covered music for the Chicago Tribune since 1978.

Winners of the 2019 JJA Jazz Awards in all categories, determined by second-round voting by the JJA’s professional journalist members, will be announced at in mid May. Due to restrictions on public gatherings in response to covid-19, presentations to Awards recipients will this year be held privately or online.

Nominees for 2020 JJJA Jazz Awards (as well as Awards Voters) are invited to to display digital badges on their websites or social media platforms. For information a badge, email For further information about the JJA Jazz Awards or the JJA itself, email

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