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JazzTimes Announces Top Track Winners

JazzTimes is thrilled to announce the winners of its inaugural Top Track contest from 2022. Our panel of critics worked through many tracks and narrowed it down to three standout songs.

The winning track was “Ode to Manuel,” from Michael Orenstein, who wins $1,000 for the top honors. “Ode To Manuel” is Orenstein’s tribute to one of his favorite pianists, Manuel Valera.  It was written when Orenstein was still in his undergrad at Oberlin Conservatory, and after playing it for years, Orenstein recorded it for his debut album, Aperture (Origin Records 2022). The listener will hear grooves inspired by Cuban music intertwined with colorful modern harmonies, performed by the trio of Logan Kane (bass), Myles Martin (drums), and Orenstein (piano). 

The second-place track ($500 prize) was “Semolina Pilchard” from Tom Lippincott, and coming in third place ($250 prize) was “One For Herbie Hancock,” from Herbie enthusiast, Thomas Dancer.

On top of the cash prizes, all three winners will be featured in an upcoming issue of JazzTimes and online. Additionally, they’ll receive a 1-year membership to JazzTimes.

All of the winning tracks can be heard on our Top Track contest page.