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Finalist nominees for 2018 JJA Awards announced

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Nominees in most categories were chosen by the votes of the Professional Journalist Members of the Jazz Journalists Association. Nominations were made on the basis of work done in calendar year 2017 with the exception of Lifetime Achievement Awards categories, in which nominations are for a lifetime body of work. Winners of the 2018 JJA Jazz Awards in all categories will be determined by the votes of JJA Professional Journalist Members; winners will be announced here on on May 7.







Jazz Musician of the Year

Nicole Mitchell

Tyshawn Sorey

Matt Wilson


Up and Coming Musician of the Year

Jamie Branch

Maria Grand

Jazzmeia Horn


Composer of the Year

Ben Allison

Darcy James Argue

Roscoe Mitchell

Maria Schneider

Tyshawn Sorey


Arranger of the Year

John Beasley

Alan Broadbent

Vince Mendoza

Maria Schneider


Record of the Year

Honey and Salt  Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg – Matt Wilson (Palmetto)

Passin' Thru – Charles Lloyd New Quartet (Blue Note)

Bells for the South Side – Roscoe Mitchell (ECM)

Morphogenesis – Steve Coleman's Natal Eclipse (Pi)


Historical Record of the Year

Bill Evans - Another Time (The Hilversum Concert) (Resonance)

Wynton Kelly Trio/Wes Montgomery - Smokin' In Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (Resonance)

Thelonious Monk- Les Liaisons Dangereuses,  1960 (Sam/Saga)

Jaco Pastorius - Truth, Liberty & Soul (Live in NYC) (Resonance)


Record Label of the Year

ECM Records

Motema Music

Pi Recordings

Resonance Records

Sunnyside Records


Male Vocalist of the Year

Kurt Elling

Giacomo Gates

José James

Gregory Porter


Female Vocalist of the Year

Jazzmeia Horn

René Marie

Cécile McLorin Salvant


Large Ensemble of the Year

Maria Schneider Orchestra

Christian McBride Big Band

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra


Jazz Band

Vijay Iyer Sextet

Miguel Zenon Quartet

Steve Coleman and Five Elements

John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension


Trumpeter of the Year

Tom Harrell

Wynton Marsalis

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Wadada Leo Smith


Trombonist of the Year

Michael Dease

Wycliffe Gordon

Ryan Keberle

Roswell Rudd


Multi-Reeds Player of the Year

Roscoe Mitchell

Scott Robinson

Mars Williams


Alto Saxophonist of the Year

Steve Coleman

Rudresh Mahanthappa

Miguel Zenon


Tenor Saxophonist of the Year

Harry Allen

Charles Lloyd

Joe Lovano

Houston Person

Chris Potter


Baritone Saxophonist of the Year

Ronnie Cuber

Claire Daly

Gary Smulyan


Soprano Saxophonist of the Year

Jane Ira Bloom

Dave Liebman

Sam Newsome


Flutist of the Year

Jamie Baum

Nicole Mitchell

Elena Pinderhughes


Clarinetist of the Year

Evan Christopher

Anat Cohen

Ken Peplowski


Guitarist of the Year

Bill Frisell

Mary Halvorson

Julian Lage

John McLaughlin


Pianist of the Year

Fred Hersch

Vijay Iyer

Myra Melford


Keyboardist of the Year

Brian Charette

Dr. Lonnie Smith

Gary Versace


Bassist of the Year

Linda May Han Oh

Dave Holland

Christian McBride

Thomas Morgan


Violinist-Violist-Cellist of the Year

Sarah Caswell

Akua Dixon

Tomeka Reid


Percussionist of the Year

Rogerio Boccato

Zakir Hussain

Pedrito Martinez


Mallet Instrumentalist of the Year

Joe Locke

Steve Nelson

Warren Wolf


Traps Drummer of the Year

Brian Blade

Jack DeJohnette

Eric Harland

Matt Wilson


Player of the Year of Instruments Rare in Jazz

Jose Davila (tuba)

Gregoire Marêt(harmonica)

Scott Robinson (various)

Jason Stein (bass clarinet)

Gary Versace (accordion)