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Winners in 2016 DownBeat Critics Poll

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    Posted: 29 Jun 2016 at 11:03am
Washington, Iyer Among Winners in 2016 DownBeat Critics Poll

Acclaimed tenor saxophonist Kamasi Washington, veteran pianist Randy Weston, inventive pianist/keyboardist Vijay Iyer and bandleader Christine Jensen are among the winners in the 64th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll.

Washington, whose album The Epic (Brainfeeder) was one of the most critically lauded releases in 2015, topped three categories in the poll: Jazz Album (for The Epic), Rising Star–Jazz Artist and Rising Star–Tenor Saxophone.

“Kamasi Washington has not only impressed the critics, he has also brought thousands of new listeners to the world of jazz,” said Bobby Reed, DownBeat editor. “Anyone who has heard The Epic realizes that this an artist with tremendous talent, drive and ambition.”

Weston, whose innovative music has long illustrated the connections between jazz and older musical forms that originated in Africa, was voted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. The 90-year icon remains a popular draw on the concert circuit, with shows scheduled later this summer at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in New York City.

“The ever-youthful Randy Weston has expanded listeners’ understanding of what jazz is, how it originated and where it can go,” Reed said. “We’re thrilled to welcome him into the DownBeat Hall of Fame.”

Iyer was voted top Jazz Artist in the Critics Poll, marking the third time he has won the honor, following wins in 2012 and 2015.

Jensen, who has won multiple Juno Awards in her native Canada, topped two categories in the Critics Poll: Rising Star–Arranger and Rising Star–Big Band (for the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra).

The award for top Blues Artist or Group goes to Buddy Guy, who also topped the Blues Album category for Born To Play Guitar (RCA).

Critics honored the late David Bowie with two wins. He was voted the top Beyond Artist or Group, and the Beyond Album accolade went to Bowie’s disc Blackstar, which Columbia released just days before his death on Jan. 10.

The DownBeat Veterans Committee inducted songwriter Hoagy Carmichael (1899–1981) into the Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of inductees to 144.

Other winners in the poll include Joe Lovano (Tenor Saxophone), Anat Cohen (Clarinet), Robert Glasper (Keyboard), Marcus Miller (Electric Bass), Lisa Parrott (Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone), Liberty Ellman (Rising Star–Guitar) and Luques Curtis (Rising Star–Bass).

The August issue of DownBeat, which arrives on newsstands on July 19, has features on winning artists as well the complete results for all 62 categories, listing more than 1,200 artists who received votes in the poll.

The complete list of winners is below:


Hall of Fame: Randy Weston
Veterans Committee Hall of Fame: Hoagy Carmichael
Jazz Artist: Vijay Iyer
Jazz Album: Kamasi Washington, The Epic (Brainfeeder)
Historical Album: Miles Davis, Miles Davis At Newport 1955–1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (Sony Legacy)
Jazz Group: Charles Lloyd Quartet
Big Band: Maria Schneider Orchestra
Trumpet: Ambrose Akinmusire
Trombone: Wycliffe Gordon
Soprano Saxophone: Wayne Shorter
Alto Saxophone: Rudresh Mahanthappa
Tenor Saxophone: Joe Lovano
Baritone Saxophone: Gary Smulyan
Clarinet: Anat Cohen
Flute: Nicole Mitchell
Piano: Kenny Barron
Keyboard: Robert Glasper
Organ (tie): Joey DeFrancesco and Dr. Lonnie Smith
Guitar: Bill Frisell
Bass: Christian McBride
Electric Bass: Marcus Miller
Violin: Regina Carter
Drums: Jack DeJohnette
Percussion: Hamid Drake
Vibraphone: Gary Burton
Miscellaneous Instrument: Béla Fleck (banjo)
Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant
Male Vocalist: Gregory Porter
Composer: Maria Schneider
Arranger: Maria Schneider
Record Label: ECM
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Blues Artist or Group: Buddy Guy
Blues Album: Buddy Guy, Born To Play Guitar (RCA)
Beyond Artist or Group: David Bowie
Beyond Album: David Bowie, Blackstar (Columbia)


Rising Star–Jazz Artist: Kamasi Washington
Rising Star–Jazz Group: JD Allen Trio
Rising Star–Big Band: Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra
Rising Star–Trumpet: Marquis Hill
Rising Star–Trombone: Michael Dease
Rising Star–Soprano Saxophone: Donny McCaslin
Rising Star–Alto Saxophone: Grace Kelly
Rising Star–Tenor Saxophone: Kamasi Washington
Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone: Lisa Parrott
Rising Star–Clarinet: Oran Etkin
Rising Star–Flute: Elena Pinderhughes
Rising Star–Piano: Joey Alexander
Rising Star–Keyboard (tie): Nik Bärtsch and Sam Yahel
Rising Star–Organ: Pat Bianchi
Rising Star–Guitar: Liberty Ellman
Rising Star–Bass: Luques Curtis
Rising Star–Electric Bass: Tim Lefebvre
Rising Star–Violin: Mads Tolling
Rising Star–Drums (tie): Mark Guiliana and Kendrick Scott
Rising Star–Percussion: Ches Smith
Rising Star–Vibraphone: Khan Jamal
Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument: Omer Avital (oud)
Rising Star–Female Vocalist: Kate McGarry
Rising Star–Male Vocalist: Ku-umba Frank Lacy
Rising Star–Composer: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
Rising Star–Arranger: Christine Jensen
Rising Star–Producer: Zev Feldman

from  www.downbeat.com
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