The Jazz Music Awards: Celebrating the Spirit of Jazz, the first awards celebration to exclusively focus on Jazz announces a star-studded lineup of acclaimed artists who will perform live under the musical direction of NEA Jazz Master and three-time Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, and educator Terri Lyne Carrington. Grammy and Tony Award-winning artist Dee Dee Bridgewater and multiple award-winning British-American stage and screen actor Delroy Lindo will serve as co-hosts for the Jazz Music Awards, set for Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA.
Confirmed as musical performers are a cast of multiple Grammy Award winners, including NEA Jazz Masters Dianne Reeves, Kenny Garrett, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, vocalist Ledisi, husband-and-wife team Marcus and Jean Baylor of The Baylor Project, and preeminent jazz, gospel, and blues vocalist Lizz Wright. Also confirmed to perform are Jazz Music Awards nominees: vocalists Jazzmeia Horn, Somi, and Lindsey Webster, guitarist Brian Bromberg, harpist Brandee Younger, and pianist Orrin Evans.
Among the musical highlights of the inaugural awards presentation – with the theme “Jazz Is The Culture” – will be an opening performance by The Baylor Project, which led the Jazz Music Awards with three nominations. They will be joined by five-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves and three-time Grammy-nominated vocalist Jazzmeia Horn. The celebration will also include a musical tribute, “Songs of Social Justice,” featuring Reeves and Horn, along with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ledisi, and Lizz Wright.
Two-time Jazz Music Award nominees Kenny Garrett and Orrin Evans are also featured performers during the evening, honoring McCoy Tyner, who is posthumously receiving the Jazz Legend Award, and there will be a tribute to Lifetime Achievement honoree Wayne Shorter. Ray Angry, Mark Whitfield, and Marcus Strickland will perform in a special medley in honor of the late Joey DeFrancesco (a Jazz Music Awards nominee), Ramsey Lewis and Pharoah Sanders. In addition to other performances, Lizz Wright will perform a beloved classic to close this unique program.
The Jazz Music Awards Musical Director Terri Lyne Carrington put together some of the best of the best jazz musicians including bassist James Genus, trumpeter Milena Casado, drummer Nikki Glaspie, pianist Orrin Evans, organist Ray Angry, guitarist Mark Whitfield, and DJ and percussionist Kassa Overall.
As previously announced, the Jazz Music Awards will present awards in eight competitive categories as well as six special honors. For the three Awards of Distinction categories, modern jazz trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire will receive the Jazz Innovator Award; vocalist and composer Dr. Lenora Helm Hammonds will receive the Jazz Educator Award; and saxophonist, woodwinds player, and composer Henry Threadgill will be honored with the Jazz Composer Award. The Jazz Impact Award will be given to veteran musician and educator James H. Patterson.