Conventions & Awards

Inaugural Jazz Music Awards 2022 Nominees & Honorees announced

From Best Duo to Best Group, and much more, the inaugural Jazz Music Awards have announced their first thirty-three nominations.

by Stacy Simons Santos ofrom Celebrity Access

The awards ceremony to exclusively celebrate Jazz music, The Jazz Music Awards: Celebrating the Spirit of Jazz, and its creator and executive producer, Wendy F. Williams, announce the recipients of six honorary awards and the nominees in eight competitive award categories.

These special honors, as well as the thirty-three nominees, recognize individuals who have made, and continue to make, a lasting contribution to jazz music. These well-deserved honors will be presented at the Jazz Music Awards ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter; the Jazz Legend Award will be presented to the family of the late pianist and composer McCoy Tyner. There are three Awards of Distinction categories: Innovator, Composer, and Educator. Modern jazz trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire will receive the Jazz Innovator Award; avant-garde saxophonist and woodwinds player and composer Henry Threadgill will be honored with the Jazz Composer Award; vocalist and composer Dr. Lenora Helm Hammonds will receive the Jazz Educator Award, and veteran musician and educator Dr. James H. Patterson will receive the Jazz Impact Award.

Also, the final four nominees have been announced in eight competitive categories; a tie in the Best Duo, Group, or Big Band category resulted in five nominees, while the Best International Artist category submissions did not meet the Jazz Music Awards submission criteria resulting in this award being removed from the final ballot this year.

Some of the nominees include:

Four-time Grammy Award-nominated artists Jean & Marcus Baylor, also known as The Baylor Project,received three nominations for their release, Generations; along with Orrin Evans with two nominations for The Magic of Now and EEE with well-known TV personality Kevin Eubanks; 2023 NEA Jazz Master and Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny Garrett with two nominations for Sounds From The Ancestors; eight-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride with two nominations with his band Inside Straight for Live at the Village Vanguard; acclaimed jazz harpist Brandee Younger with two nominations for Somewhere Different; and contemporary jazz keyboardist Brian Culbertson with two nominations for The Trilogy Red.

“We are honored to recognize and present a wide range of dynamic and innovative artists, including our six award honorees and our thirty-three nominees. I am still amazed that in 2022, a dedicated global Jazz award show in North America has never been done at this level. I am thrilled that we can step into this space to honor and recognize musicians and the entire genre in this way. We are making history and just getting started,” says Wendy F. Williams.

An added attraction during the Jazz Music Awards will be several live performances. These will include appearances by several acclaimed Jazz vocal talents: NEA Jazz Master and Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning artists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Grammy Award-winning artist Ledisi, preeminent jazz/gospel/blues vocalist Lizz Wright, and four-time Grammy Award-nominated artist Jazzmeia Horn. All performances will be under the musical direction of NEA Jazz Master and three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist and composer Terri Lyne Carrington, who serves as the musical director and co-executive producer for the inaugural ceremony.

“The Jazz Music Award is a necessary and important platform for the jazz community,” says Carrington, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice founder. “It’s vital that we spotlight and celebrate artists across all hybrids of Jazz, many of whom have been overlooked or unsung throughout their careers.”

For a complete list of nominees and honorees, please visit and

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