Wayne Shorter, Wadada Leo Smith and Ryan Truesdell Top JJA Jazz Awards

wayne shorterWayne Shorter, Wadada Leo Smith and Ryan Truesdell are among the top winners, honored in multiple categories, in this year’s Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards.

Shorter won for lifetime achievement in jazz and best soprano saxophonist, and the Wayne Shorter Quartet was honored as best small ensemble, while Smith was named musician of the year and best trumpeter. Truesdell won for record of the year, for “Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans,” and his Gil Evans Project was named best large ensemble.

In other major categories, Maria Schneider won for best composer-arranger, pianist Aaron Diehl for up and coming artist, and ECM for record label.

Vijay Iyer and Sonny Rollins, two artists who have recently received much love in jazz magazine polls,  picked up honors in the 17th annual JJA awards, with Iyer named best pianist and Rollins winning for emeritus jazz artist/beyond voting.

Winners in the musician categories will receive their awards at one of their upcoming public performances, while the winners in the journalism and media categories won’t be announced until June 19, with a party at the Blue Note jazz club in New York City.

In addition to the musician winners, 26 JJA Jazz Heroes – musicians and jazz advocates and activists who’ve had enormous impact on their local communities — were named. Two of this year’s Jazz Heroes hail from Florida — Gainesville guitarist Marty Liquori, a mover and shaker with the Gainesville Friends of Jazz, and in Tallahassee, trumpeter and FSU jazz professor Scotty Barnhart.

For more information on the awards, and the full list of winners, go to the official JJA Jazz Awards site.

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