The Jazz Music Awards recognizes jazz as an American musical art form, birthed from the experience and innovation of African Americans, rooted in blues, ragtime, swing, bebop, and creative improvised music, including Latin jazz, mainstream, smooth, and other contemporary forms, or hybrids. The Jazz Music Awards and its creators recognize and amplify Jazz as a vibrant cornerstone of all American music that has profoundly influenced American language, style, traditions, and sounds, producing heroes and cultural phenomena. The Jazz Music Awards is a nonprofit division of Jazz 91.9 WCLK at Clark Atlanta University, the Historically Black College and University, owner and licensee of WCLK. 



Wendy F. Williams, Creator & Founder

Jazz Music Awards

It is my pleasure to welcome you as we announce the launch of the inaugural Jazz Music Awards.   For soon, we will realize a dream come true; the premier jazz awards showcase for all the world to see.  The Jazz Music Awards showcase is the manifestation of my long-held vision that jazz deserves to be lauded, applauded, honored, cherished, celebrated, and recognized among the masses for its tradition and for the mark it has stamped on the fabric of our musical lives.  And, it deserves to be seen in all its many fabulous forms, flavors, colors, and instrumentation. If you landed on this website, I am sure you know what I mean.  As the general manager of Jazz 91.9 WCLK, this is a seminal moment in my life to recognize jazz musicians and artists for their worthy musical contributions to our society as they deserve to be.   At Jazz 91.9 WCLK, a licensee of Clark Atlanta University, we began presenting jazz musicians with awards at our annual benefit concerts including Herbie Hancock, Freddy Cole, George Benson, and Ahmad Jamal.  But somehow, I wanted to make this a bigger part of my calling, whenever I would notice that jazz and jazz performances were not widely regarded in prime-time placement the way other music awards shows continue to be.  But at the same time, I recognized that thousands of people from all over the world flock to live jazz performances including festivals, clubs, orchestras, and theater houses, year-round.  It became apparent, to use a very familiar phrase, “that if someone’s going do it, it may as well be us.”  So, with that the seed was planted and with God’s grace and good timing, we landed the production team of Rushion McDonald, 3815 Media, and the rest is history.  Jazz so rightly and richly deserves to be showcased and this time, jazz, America’s true and pure art form, takes center stage! The Jazz Music Awards is our gift to the artists, musicians, and to all of you!  Join us for this jazz journey that is borne in love.