Countdown to

The Jazz Music Awards









The Inaugural Jazz Music Awards to Bestow Special Honors to  Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Ambrose Akinmusire, Henry Threadgill,  Dr. Lenora Helm Hammonds, and James H. Patterson 

The Awards Ceremony to Highlight Eight Award Categories with 33 Nominees including Jean & Marcus Baylor Leading with Three  Nominations, along with Orrin Evans, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride,  Brian Culbertson, and Brandee Younger  Each Leading with Two Nominations 

Other Nominees Include The Count Basie Orchestra, Brian Bromberg, Joey  DeFrancesco, Jazzmeia Horn, Samara Joy, Somi, Stacey Kent, Shawnn Monteiro, Ben Tankard, Lindsey Webster, and More 

Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ledisi, Lizz Wright, and Jazzmeia Horn Set to  Perform, Tickets On Sale Now 

(Atlanta, GA – August 30, 2022) – The global 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 today 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 this American art form. Finalists in each category are the result of the first round of nominations submitted during the eligibility period from April 1, 2021, through  March 31, 2022. These well-deserved honors will be presented at the Jazz Music Awards ceremony, set for Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts  Centre in Atlanta, GA. Tickets are on sale now, click here for further details. 

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 James H. Patterson will receive the Jazz Impact Award.

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 (Eubanks-Evans-Experience) 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. 

Also nominated are acclaimed jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn with Her Noble Force (Best  Duo, Group, or Big Band); the late veteran organ master Joey DeFrancesco, who recently passed away on August 25, (Best Mainstream Artist); chart-topping contemporary flutist  Ragan Whiteside (Best Contemporary Artist); contemporary jazz keyboardist and producer  Bob Baldwin (Best Contemporary Album); multi-instrumentalist and producer Ben  Tankard, best known as “the godfather of gospel/jazz” (Best Contemporary Artist); and veteran smooth jazz guitarist Norman Brown (Song of the Year). 

Other nominees in the contemporary jazz categories include popular bassist and producer  Brian Bromberg (Best Contemporary Artist); jazz/pop vocalist Lindsey Webster (Best  Contemporary Artist); master drummer Sonny Emory (Best Contemporary Album); Jazz educator and vocalist Shawnn Monteiro (Best Vocal Performance); multi-instrumentalist  Gabriel Mark Hasselbach (Best Contemporary Album); and the Count Basie  Orchestra, under the direction of Scotty Barnhart (Best Duo, Group or Big Band).  

The Jazz Music Awards nominations also recognize a diverse array of burgeoning artists,  including French vibraphonist Simon Moullier (Best New Jazz Artist); Grammy-nominated  Jazz vocalist Stacey Kent (Best Vocal Performance); Kazemde George, Brooklyn-based saxophonist, composer, and beatmaker (Best New Artist); Julieta Engenio, Argentine-born tenor saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (Best New Artist); neo-traditionalist Samara  Joy (Best New Artist); acclaimed Rwandan-Ugandan jazz singer and playwright Somi (Best  Vocal Performance); South African-born teen multi-instrumentalist Justin-Lee Schultz (Song of the Year); and Alabama-based drummer/producer James “PJ” Spraggins (Song of the Year). 

“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 we are just getting started,” says Wendy F.  Williams, creator and executive producer of the Jazz Music Awards, as well as the General  Manager of NPR-affiliate Jazz 91.9 WCLK. “Jazz music has been an essential part of the legacy of Jazz 91.9 WCLK, which will be celebrating fifty years on the air in 2024, from its home on the campus of Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. By recognizing our honorees and nominees,  we are giving thanks for their incredible artistry that furthers the richness of the Jazz  tradition, which is integral to American music and culture.” 

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, who is also the founder of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. “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.”  

The inaugural Jazz Music Awards will establish a new platform for recognizing the rich history, musical innovation, and vital artistry that continue to inform America’s truly original art form – Jazz Music. As an essential component of the vast tapestry that weaves together  African Americans’ contributions to the arts, Jazz is the Culture of America. It is a unique sound and style that is beloved around the world.  

For updates and information on the award ceremony, please visit


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.  


PR Contact

Gwendolyn Quinn

Gwendolyn Quinn Public Relations 

The Jazz Music Awards


The Jazz Music Awards 2022  

Honorees and Nominees 

The Lifetime Achievement Award                                          Wayne Shorter 

Award of Distinction – Jazz Innovator Award                       Ambrose Akinmusire

Award of Distinction – Jazz Composer Award                      Henry Threadgill 

Award of Distinction – Jazz Educator Award                        Dr. Lenora Z Helm Hammonds

The Jazz Legend Award                                                         McCoy Tyner 

The Jazz Impact Award                                                         James H. Patterson 

Best Mainstream Artist  

Joey DeFrancesco                                                                  More Music  

Kenny Garrett                                                                         Sounds From The Ancestors

Christian McBride & Inside Straight                                    Live at the Village Vanguard

Brandee Younger                                                                  Somewhere Different 

Best Contemporary Artist 

Brian Bromberg                                                                    A Little Driving Music

Ben Tankard                                                                         SHINE

Lindsey Webster                                                                 “I. Didn’t Mean It” (single title)

Ragan Whiteside                                                                “Off the Cuff” (single title) 

Best Duo, Group, or Big Band (a tie in this category) 

The Baylor Project                                                             Generations 

Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force                              Dear Love 

Christian McBride & Inside Straight                                Live At the Village Vanguard

Count Basie Orchestra                                                     Live At Birdland 

                                                                                           (under the direction of Scotty Barnhart) 

Kevin Eubanks and Orrin Evans                                     EEE (Eubanks-Evans-Experience) 

Best New Jazz Artist  

Simon Moullier.                                                              Countdown 

Julieta Engenio                                                              Jump  

Kazemde George                                                            I Insist 

Samara Joy                                                                  Samara Joy 

Best Vocal Performance  

The Baylor Project                                                      Generations 

Somi                                                                            Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba 

Stacey Kent                                                               Songs From Other Places

Shawnn Monteiro                                                         You Are There

Best Mainstream Album  

The Baylor Project                                                   Generations 

Orrin Evans                                                                The Magic of Now

Kenny Garrett                                                          Sounds From The Ancestors

Brandee Younger                                                 Somewhere Different 

Best Contemporary Album 

Bob Baldwin                                                              The Stay at Home Series, Volume 1

Brian Culbertson                                                     The Trilogy Red

Sonny Emory                                                            Soul Ascension

Gabriel Mark Hasselbach                                     Tongue & Groove 

Song of the Year (Fan Vote) 

Norman Brown                                                       “Back At Ya” (single)

Brian Culbertson                                                    “Feel the Love” (single)

Justin-Lee Schultz                                                  “Gruv Kid” (single)

James “PJ” Spraggins                                             “Up From Here” (single) 

Number of Nominations by Artist(s) 

The Baylor Project (three nominations)  

Orrin Evans (two nominations)  

Kenny Garrett (two nominations)  

Brian Culbertson (two nominations)  

Christian McBride (two nominations)  

Brandee Younger (two nominations)  

Bob Baldwin (one nomination) 

Count Basie Orchestra (one nomination) 

Brian Bromberg (one nomination) 

Norman Brown (one nomination)  

Joey DeFrancesco (one nomination)  

Sonny Emory (one nomination)  

Julieta Engenio (one nomination)  

Kevin Eubanks & Orrin Evans (one nomination) 

Kazemde George (one nomination)  

Gabriel Mark Hasselbach (one nomination)  

Jazzmeia Horn (one nomination)  

Samara Joy (one nomination)  

Stacey Kent (one nomination) 

Shawnn Monteiro (one nomination) 

Simon Moullier (one nomination) 

Justin-Lee Schultz (one nomination)  

Somi (one nomination)  

James “PJ” Spraggins (one nomination)  

Ben Tankard (one nomination)  

Lindsey Webster (one nomination)  

Ragan Whiteside (one nomination) 




Friday, October 21, 2022
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Mastering Jazz
NEA Jazz Master, Grammy-winning drummer, author, and educator Terri Lyne Carrington teams up with Emmy, Grammy, Tony Winner (EGT), NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater, and 2018 NEA Jazzmaster and 5x Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves to bring you the A-to-Z lessons of mastering a successful career and longevity in the jazz world.  Moderated by Jazz 91.9 WCLK host of Jazz at Sundown and Jazz Suite, Ms. Debb Moore, panel guests will offer insights on taking your love for the music and parlaying it into a successful rewarding business career.


Friday, October 21, 2022
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Two of the world’s vocal powerhouses Lizz Wright and Jazzmeia Horn together, discuss successfully proven tips to boost your vocal passions and possibly turn it into a career.  Moderated by Jazz 91.9 WCLK host of Midday Jazz, Ms. Rivablue, find out their practices of harnessing talent and what to do when you realize your unique vocal style.


Friday, October 21, 2022
11:00 am – 12:00 PM
“The Future of Jazz, With a Nod to its Past”
Jazz music enthusiasts and entertainment professionals—DJ Kassa Overall, Jason Orr, and Lil John Roberts discuss the future of jazz music. From bebop to hip-hop, the discussion will be centered around understanding the history of jazz and subsequently what we all can do to ensure a brighter tomorrow for the genre. Moderated by WCLK host of the nationally syndicated Soul of Jazz host, Mr. Jamal Ahmad, this panel will offer fresh insights into the exciting prospects for carrying jazz deeper into the 21st century.


Friday, October 21, 2022
7:00PM – 9:00 PM
The Starling Atlanta Midtown


Saturday, October 22, 2022
VIP Reception
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Awards Show
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM


 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.