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Jazz Journalists Association Announces Jazz Award Winners

When jazz enthusiasts attending the Jazz à Vienne festival in France watch Sonny Rollins perform June 29, they won’t just be watching a legendary saxophonist-instead, they’ll be watching the “Musician of the Year,” according to the Jazz Journalists Association.

On Monday, the JJA held its 10th annual Jazz Awards in New York City-fittingly at B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill-and distributed 41 accolades, 33 to musicians and 8 in categories relating to jazz journalism. The sold-out event also included performances by the Dewey Redman Ensemble, the Sy Johnson Quartet and pianist Ezra Weiss.

Rollins was also named “Tenor Saxophonist of the Year,” while drummer Roy Haynes received the “Lifetime Achievement in Jazz” award. Fellow drummer and percussionist Dafnis Prieto received the “Up and Coming Musician of the Year” award, and “Jazz Album of the Year” went to the Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane for At Carnegie Hall (Blue Note). Three-time Grammy nominated vocalist Kurt Elling received the “Male Jazz Singer of the Year” award and four-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves was recognized as “Female Jazz Singer of the Year.”

In the jazz journalism categories, Howard Mandel (pictured) received the “Jazz Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award,” JazzTimes received the “Best Periodical Covering Jazz” award, JazzTimes columnist and New York Times contributor Nate Chinen received the Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for “Excellence in Newspaper, Magazine or Online Feature or Review Writing,” and received the “Best Web Site Concentrating on Jazz” award.

The JJA also presented “A Team” awards to nine “advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of the jazz art form,” including Gretchen Valade, founder of Mack Avenue Records, and Bill McFarlin, executive director of the International Association for Jazz Education.

Originally Published