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2016 Jazz Grammy Winners Announced

By , Editor | The Jazz Line

Even though the official 58th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony doesn’t begin until 8pm ET tonight, we already know who won in all of the prestigious award show’s jazz categories.

No, we didn’t pay anybody off to get the information… Just like in years past, most of the awards this year will be presented during the “pre-telecast” ceremony at the Microsoft Theater; right across the street from the Staples Center, where the main event is taking place.

Around 70 awards are being (quickly…) presented during the pre-telecast to make room for more performances and acceptance speeches from mainstream performers during the main event. In the past, we’ve written at length about jazz being continuously marginalized at the Grammys. But this year, 12-year-old pianist Joey Alexander will carry the torch for the genre as the first solo jazz performer to appear in the main telecast in recent memory. The Motema artist is also nominated for the ‘Best Improvised Jazz Solo’ and ‘Best Jazz Instrumental Album’ Grammys.

Check out the full list of Jazz Grammy Winners below:

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

“Cherokee” – Christian McBride (soloist) – Winner!
“Giant Steps” – Joey Alexander (soloist)
“Arbiters of Evolution” – Donny McCaslin (soloist)
“Friend or Foe” – Joshua Redman (soloist)
“Past Present” – John Scofield (soloist)

Best Jazz Vocal Album

For One to Love – Cécile McLorin Salvant – Winner!
Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein – Karrin Allyson
Find a Heart – Denise Donatelli
Flirting with Disaster – Lorraine Feather
Jamison – Jamison Ross

Cecile McLorin Salvant
Cecile McLorin Salvant

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Past Present – John Scofield – Winner!
My Favorite Things – Joey Alexander
Breathless – Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective
Covered: Recorded Live at Capitol Studios – Robert Glasper & The Robert Glasper Trio
Beautiful Life – Jimmy Greene

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

The Thompson Fields – Maria Schneider Orchestra – Winner!
Lines of Color – Gil Evans Project
Köln – Marshall Gilkes and WDR Big Band
Cuba: The Conversation Continues – Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Home Suite Home – Patrick Williams

Best Latin Jazz Album

Made in Brazil – Elaine Elias – Winner!
Impromptu – The Rodriguez Brothers
Suite Caminos – Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Intercambio – Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
Identities are Changeable – Miguel Zenón

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

Sylva – Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest – Winner!
Guitar in the Space Age! – Bill Frisell
Love Language – Wouter Kellerman
Afrodeezia – Marcus Miller
The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV – Kirk Whalum

Best Traditional R&B Performance

“Little Ghetto Boy” – Lalah Hathaway – Winner!
“He Is” – Faith Evans
“Let It Burn” – Jazmine Sullivan
“Shame” – Tyrese
“My Favorite Part of You” – Charlie Wilson

Best Blues Album

Born to Play Guitar – Buddy Guy – Winner!
Descendants of Hill Country – Cedric Burnside Project
Outskirts of Love – Shemekia Copeland
Worthy – Bettye LaVette
Muddy Waters 100 – John Primer and various artists

Buddy Guy (Photo: David La Rosa)
Buddy Guy (Photo: David La Rosa)

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Birdman – Antonio Sánchez, composer – Winner!
The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat, composer
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer, composer
The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer
Whiplash – Justin Hurwitz, composer

Best Instrumental Composition

“The Afro Latin Jazz Suite” – Arturo O’Farrill (composer) – Winner!
“Civil War” – Bob Mintzer, (composer)
“Confetti Man” – David Balakrishnan (composer)
“Neil” – Rich DeRosa (composer)
“Vesper” – Marshall Gilkes (composer)

In the other categories, rapper Kendrick Lamar leads the pack with a total of eleven nominations – Including the coveted ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’ awards. This should come as no surprise to any fan of real music. With arrangements by saxophonist Kamasi Washington and notable appearances from the likes of Thundercat and Robert Glasper, the album, in addition to being supremely culturally and socially relevant, has jazz flowing through its every corner.

Singer Taylor Swift and rapper The Weeknd follow behind with a total of seven nominations each. For the full list of winners, head over to the Grammys Website.

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