BMI Composers Top Jazz Journalists Awards

Posted in News on June 21, 2012

BMI jazz legend Sonny Rollins won three top awards June 20 at the annual awards voted by the nation’s jazz journalists, delivered at a gala ceremony at the legendary Blue Note jazz club in New York’s Greenwich Village. Rollins, who won Record and Musician of the Year honors, was joined on the winners list by other BMI jazz greats, including vocalist Kurt Elling, saxophonists Joe Lovano and Jane Ira Bloom, bassist Christian McBride, vibes master Gary Burton, drummer Roy Haynes and harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans, among many others.

Speaking of BMI’s long tradition of support for the Jazz Journalists Association at the outset of the event, BMI Director of Musical Theater and Jazz Pat Cook said, “Being an anchor sponsor of this event fits right in with BMI’s DNA. Among the first composers that BMI signed were Lester Young and Billie Holiday, followed quickly by a galaxy of immensely talented young composer/ artists who would define this art form for the ages, including Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Miles, Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, among many others. Today, BMI represents the world’s most respected and acclaimed jazz composers, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Joe Lovano, Terrence Blanchard, rising young stars Monk award winner Kris Bowers — and the majority of tonight’s nominees!”

BMI composers won the majority of the evening’s awards. Below is a complete list of BMI winners.

Musician: Sonny Rollins

Up-and-Coming Artist: Ben Williams

Record: Sonny Rollins, Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy Records)

Best Historic Recording/Boxed Set: Miles Davis, Bootleg Sessions, Vol. 1, Quintet Live in Europe 1967 (Columbia Legacy)

Large Ensemble: Mingus Big Band

Small Ensemble: Joe Lovano Us Five

Best Male Vocalist: Kurt Elling

Alto Saxophonist: Rudresh Mahanthappa

Tenor Saxophonist: Sonny Rollins

Baritone Saxophonist: Gary Smulyan

Soprano Saxophonist: Jane Ira Bloom

Guitarist: Bill Frisell

Keyboard Player: Gary Versace

Bassist: Christian McBride

Percussionist: Poncho Sanchez

Mallets Instrumentalist: Gary Burton

Drummer: Roy Haynes

Player of Instruments Rare in Jazz: Toots Thielemans


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