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Everything A Jazz Fan Needs to Know Before the 65th Grammy Awards

John Beasley leads the jazz pack, while DOMi and JD Beck aim for a splash.

John Beasley (photo: Rob Shanahan)
John Beasley (photo: Rob Shanahan)

The Grammy Awards—the 65th edition of which will be broadcast on CBS Feb. 5 from Los Angeles—have an annoying tendency to downplay the jazz and jazz-adjacent categories. Fortunately, JazzTimes is here to fill that gap with our laser-sharp focus on the jazz nominations, and, after the broadcast, on the winners.

There is no juggernaut among 2023’s nominees on the order of Jon Batiste, whose 11 nominations and five wins led the Grammy pack on both counts last year. Pianist, composer, and arranger John Beasley is this year’s most nominated jazz artist with three nods: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album (for Bird Lives, with the SWR Big Band featuring trombonist Magnus Lindgren), Best Improvised Jazz Solo (for “Cherokee/Koko,” from the same album), and Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella (for “Scrapple from the Apple,” again from Bird Lives). Beasley has previously been nominated eight times, winning once in 2021 in the Best Arrangement category (for “Donna Lee,” which appeared on the album MONK’estra Plays John Beasley).

Others of this year’s nominees have also scored prior Grammy gold, many of them multiple times. Iconic saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter has collected 11 statues, with the potential to add two more on Sunday for Best Jazz Instrumental Album (Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival, on which he shares billing with Leo Genovese, esperanza spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington) and Best Improvised Jazz Solo (“Endangered Species,” for which he shares the nomination with pianist Genovese). Christian McBride, likewise nominated for a co-led session—LongGone, with Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, and Brian Blade—has won eight times, while vocal group Manhattan Transfer (up for Best Jazz Vocal Album for their Fifty) has won seven. Drummer and composer Carrington, a three-time Grammy winner, is this year nominated twice—both for Best Jazz Instrumental Album (her own studio project New STANDARDS Vol. 1 and Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival). Legendary bassist Ron Carter, who has also previously won three awards, is nominated for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album for his Remembering Bob Freedman with the Jazzaar Festival Big Band. Pianist Danilo Perez, up for Best Latin Jazz Album (Crisalida), is another three-timer.

DOMi & JD Beck: NOT TiGHT (Blue Note)
The cover of NOT TiGHT by DOMi & JD Beck

However, much of the attention at this year’s Grammy Awards will be on newcomers. Blue Note artists DOMi and JD Beck were breakout stars in 2022 of so-called “viral jazz” (i.e., successes on the social media platforms TikTok and YouTube); their debut album NOT TiGHT competes with Mehldau, Jeff Coffin, Grant Geissman, and Snarky Puppy in the (jazz adjacent) Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category. Vocalist Samara Joy, whose sophomore album Linger Awhile is competing for Best Jazz Vocal Album, received considerable acclaim and attention for the album, including two appearances on NBC’s Today.


Joy, along with DOMi and JD Beck, are both also nominated for Best New Artist, placing them alongside such contenders as Brazilian singer-songwriter Anitta, Italian rockers Maneskin, and rapper Latto. Various oddsmakers give either Latto or Anitta the edge, but an upset by one of the two jazz artists is not implausible.

Below is the full list of jazz and jazz-adjacent nominees.

Best Jazz Vocal Album

The Baylor Project: The Evening: Live at APPARATUS


Samara Joy: Linger Awhile

Carmen Lundy: Fade to Black

The Manhattan Transfer with the WDR Funkhausorchester: Fifty

Cécile McLorin Salvant: Ghost Song

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Terri Lyne Carrington: new STANDARDS Vol. 1

Peter Erskine Trio: Live in Italy

Redman/Mehldau/McBride/Blade: LongGone


Wayne Shorter/Terri Lyne Carrington/Leo Genovese/esperanza spalding: Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival

Yellowjackets: Parallel Motion

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

SWR Big Band/Magnus Lindgren/John Beasley: Bird Lives

Ron Carter & the Jazzaar Festival Big Band: Remembering Bob Freedman

Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra: Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra

Steve Gadd/Eddie Gomez/Ronnie Cuber/WDR Big Band: Center Stage


Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows: Architecture of Storms

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

Ambrose Akinmusire: “Rounds (Live)” (from Terri Lyne Carrington’s new STANDARDS Vol. 1)

Gerald Albright: “Keep Holding On” (from Hank Bilal’s The Black Aquarius)

Melissa Aldana: “Falling” (from 12 Stars)

Marcus Baylor: “Call of the Drum” (from the Baylor Project’s The Evening: Live at APPARATUS)


John Beasley: “Cherokee/Koko” (from Bird Lives)

Wayne Shorter and Leo Genovese: “Endangered Species” (from Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival)

Best Latin Jazz Album

Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: Fandango at the Wall in New York

Danilo Pérez Featuring the Global Messengers: Crisálida

Flora Purim: If You Will


Arturo Sandoval: Rhythm & Soul

Miguel Zenón: Música de las Américas

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

Jeff Coffin: Between Dreaming and Joy


Grant Geissman: Blooz

Brad Mehldau: Jacob’s Ladder


Snarky Puppy: Empire Central

Best Instrumental Composition

Paquito D’Rivera: “African Tales” (from Tasha Warren & Dave Eggar’s Ourself Behind Ourself, Concealed)

Miguel Zenón: El País Invisible

Danilo Pérez: “Fronteras (Borders) Suite: Al-Musafir Blues” (from Crisálida)

Geoffrey Keezer: “Refuge” (from Playdate)

Pascal Le Boeuf: “Snapshots” (from Tasha Warren & Dave Eggar’s Ourself Behind Ourself, Concealed)


Best New Artist


Omar Apollo

DOMi & JD Beck

Samara Joy



Muni Long

Tobe Nwigwe

Molly Tuttle

Wet Leg

Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.