CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

2019 Expanded Critics’ Poll Results

JazzTimes’ critics pick their favorite artists, festivals, venues, and more from the year just past

Branford Marsalis
Best Soprano and Tenor Saxophonist: Branford Marsalis (photo: Eric Ryan Anderson)

BEST MUSICIANS

Trumpeter
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Ambrose Akinmusire
Wynton Marsalis*
Tom Harrell*
Jonathan Finlayson

Trombonist
Michael Dease
Trombone Shorty
Ryan Keberle
Wycliffe Gordon*
Jennifer Wharton*

Clarinetist
Anat Cohen
Ben Goldberg
Don Byron
Ken Peplowski

Tenor Saxophonist
Branford Marsalis
Chris Potter
Joe Lovano
Charles Lloyd*
JD Allen*

Alto Saxophonist
Bobby Watson
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Miguel Zenón
Alexa Tarantino*
Steve Lehman*

Soprano Saxophonist
Branford Marsalis
Dave Liebman
Jane Bunnett
Chris Potter

Baritone Saxophonist
James Carter
Gary Smulyan
Claire Daly
Ronnie Cuber

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Flutist
Nicole Mitchell
Charles Lloyd
Anne Drummond
Jamie Baum

Violinist
Regina Carter
Jenny Scheinman
Mark Feldman
Aaron Weinstein

Pianist
Kris Davis
Fred Hersch
Jason Moran
Chucho Valdés 

Keyboardist
Herbie Hancock
Craig Taborn
Robert Glasper
Jamie Saft

Organist
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Larry Goldings
Joey DeFrancesco
John Medeski

Guitarist
Bill Frisell
Vic Juris
Ben Monder*
Russell Malone*
Julian Lage 

Acoustic Bassist
Christian McBride
Ron Carter
Dave Holland
Linda May Han Oh*
Larry Grenadier*

Electric Bassist
Melvin Gibbs
Tarus Mateen
Steve Swallow
Marcus Miller

Tomeka Reid
Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist: Tomeka Reid (photo: Tony Smith)

Vibraphonist
Stefon Harris
Joel Ross
Warren Wolf
Joe Locke

Percussionist
Zakir Hussain
Pedrito Martinez
Roman Díaz
Tyshawn Sorey 

Drummer
Allison Miller*
Brian Blade*
Eric Harland
Jeff “Tain” Watts
Jack DeJohnete

Male Vocalist
Gregory Porter
Theo Bleckmann
Kurt Elling
Andy Bey

Female Vocalist
Cécile McLorin Salvant
Dianne Reeves
Jazzmeia Horn*
Sara Gazarek*
Cassandra Wilson

 

Composer 
Maria Schneider
Guillermo Klein
Esperanza Spalding
Kris Davis*
Fred Hersch*

Arranger
Maria Schneider
Darcy James Argue
Gil Goldstein*
Anthony Braxton*
Arturo O’ Farrill 

Misc. Instrumentalist
Tomeka Reid (cello)
Brandee Younger (harp)*
Béla Fleck (banjo)*
Grégoire Maret (harmonica)
Colin Stetson (bass saxophone)

Vocal Group 
Duchess
Manhattan Transfer
New York Voices
Tillery

See our critics’ picks for the Top 50 albums of 2019.

See the 2018 Expanded Critics’ Poll.