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Jazz Awards Winners

05:03 PM Thursday 6/18/09 | |

The votes are in and the big winners at this year’s Jazz Awards are saxophonist Sonny Rollins and big-band leader Maria Schneider, who each took home three awards from Tuesday’s ceremony, which was held at the Jazz Standard club in New York.

Voting isn’t done by tweens power-texting in thousands of votes at a time a la “American Idol” but by the 450 members of the Jazz Journalists Association.

Rollins was honored as musician of the year and top tenor saxophonist. He also earned bragging rights for historical recording/reissue of the year with his album Road Shows, Vol. 1, collection of live concert recordings from 1980 to 2007.

  • Sonny Rollins

    Sonny Rollins performs at the Newport Jazz Festival at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I.
    August 10, 2008

    (AP Photo)

    | 

Rollins’ nephew, Clifton Anderson, the trombonist in the saxophonist’s band, accepted the awards on his uncle’s behalf.

Schneider was awarded composer, arranger and large ensemble of the year.

Pianist of the year went to 90-year-old Hank Jones.

"This to me is an honor and also it's a great incentive to me to do better," said Jones. "It's not the end of things, it's the end of the beginning for me."

He modestly said that it “should be a group award,” a nod to his other nominees which included veterans such as Kenny Barron, Cecil Taylor, Ahmad Jamal and Keith Jarrett and newer artists like Jason Moran and Matthew Shipp.

Jazz impresario George Wein, who founded the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, won events producer of the year.

Lifetime achievement in Jazz went to Lee Konitz and up & coming artist of the year was awarded to Esperanza Spalding.

Cassandra Wilson won female singer of the year and Kurt Elling took home the award for male singer of the year.

Amongst many other awards handed out to acclaimed musicians, there was also awards for periodical of the year, Web site of the year, blog of the year, best book about jazz and best photo of the year.

Click here for the full list of Jazz Awards winners.


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