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JJA Jazz Awards Announced for 2020

Maria Schneider, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Ron Carter are among the big winners in the 25th annual presentation

Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider (photo: Briene Lermitte)

The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) announced the results of its 25th annual JJA Jazz Awards earlier today, and composer/arranger/bandleader Maria Schneider, drummer/composer/bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington, and bassist/composer Ron Carter came away the biggest winners. Schneider took the honors for Composer and Arranger of the Year, and her orchestra was voted Large Ensemble of the Year as well as taking Record of the Year for its ambitious double-disc set Data Lords. Carrington was named both Musician of the Year and Drummer of the Year, while Carter was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz.

Other notable winners in the musicians’ categories include pianist Emmet Cohen, voted Up & Coming Musician of the Year; Artemis, which won Mid-Size Ensemble of the Year; and Kurt Elling and Cécile McLorin Salvant, winners of Male Vocalist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year awards.

In the journalism and media categories, regular JazzTimes contributor Ted Panken scored a double win: the Robert Palmer-Helen Oakley Dance Award for Excellence in Writing 2020 and (as co-writer) Book of the Year for Life in E Flat: The Autobiography of Phil Woods. Our Chronology columnist, Ethan Iverson, was also a winner, with his Do the Math blog taking the honors as Blog of the Year. Billie, James Erskine’s documentary on singer Billie Holiday, was voted Documentary of the Year. Critic Kevin Whitehead, author most recently of Play the Way You Feel: The Essential Guide to Jazz Stories on Film, received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz Journalism. And in a new but (sadly) necessary award this year, New York’s Village Vanguard was named Best Live-Stream Producer of the Year for the excellence of its online performance presentations.

For a full listing of this year’s JJA Jazz Awards, visit the JJA website.