BMI Jazz Greats Sweep ‘Downbeat’ Critics Poll

Posted in News on July 17, 2006

Once again, BMI members swept the jazz world's annual "best of" list presented by Downbeat magazine, the voice of jazz since 1934. BMI's dedication to the advancement of original forms of American music exists as a cornerstone of the organization's very conception, and remains a priority today.

Sonny Rollins Wayne ShorterB.B. King

Sonny Rollins and Wayne Shorter both lead the gaggle of BMI winners with two awards apiece. Rollins earned the 2006 Jazz Artist of the Year and Tenor Saxophone Musician of the Year trophies, while the Wayne Shorter Quartet was declared Jazz Group of the Year; Shorter himself landed the Soprano Saxophone Player of the Year title.

Jackie McLean Jamie Cullum Thelonious Monk

The iconic B.B. King was recognized as Blues Artist of the Year, while saxophonist Jackie McLean was inducted into Downbeat's Hall of Fame.

Best Jazz Album went to Andrew Hill for Time Lines, his first original album since the 90s. Thelonious Monk won a posthumous award for Best Historical Album for his collaboration with John Coltrane.

BMI also dominated categories designated for the jazz community's brightest up-and-comers, as worldwide phenomenon Jamie Cullum was named Rising Star Male Vocalist and Luciana Souza earned the Rising Star Female Vocalist title. SFJAZZ Collective nabbed Rising Star Jazz Group honors as well, while Derek Trucks was honored as Rising Star Blues Artist.

BMI's Downbeat Critics Poll Winners:

Jackie McLean
Hall of Fame

Sonny Rollins
Jazz Artist
Tenor Saxophone

Wayne Shorter Quartet
Jazz Group

Wayne Shorter
Soprano Saxophone

Andrew Hill
Jazz Album

Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane
Historical Album

SFJAZZ Collective
Rising Star Jazz Group

Dave Douglas

Steve Turre

Joe Zawinul
Electric Keyboard/Synthesizer

Uri Caine
Rising Star Electric Keyboard/Synthesizer

Dave Holland

Jack DeJohnette

Ray Barretto

Rising Star Percussion

Bobby Hutcherson

Kurt Elling
Male Vocalist

Jamie Cullum (PRS)
Rising Star Male Vocalist

Luciana Souza
Rising Star Female Vocalist

Toots Thielemans

B.B. King
Blues Artist/Group

Derek Trucks
Rising Star Blues Artist

Phil Woods
Alto Saxophone

Miguel Zenón
Rising Star Alto Saxophone

James Carter
Baritone Saxophone

Don Byron

Chris Speed
Rising Star Clarinet

James Moody

Nicole Mitchell
Rising Star Flute

Bill Frisell

Keith Jarrett
Acoustic Piano

Ry Cooder
Beyond Album


The Weekly

Each week, Learn, Listen, Watch, Discover and Share with BMI! From must-see videos, to creative inspiration and dynamic playlists we’re excited about, BMI’s The Weekly is dedicated to delivering specially curated content designed for music creators and music fans alike!

Join BMI Live

BMI Live
Back to Top