Why we give Jazz Awards

Winners of the 16th annual Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards are being announced at a gala party this afternoon in New York City (at the Blue Note, 4 to 6 pm, sold out!), and

Jazz Awards statuettes

celebrated in 13 other cities, Auckland to Tucson, all hailing their own local jazz heroes. Why do we (I’m pres of the JJA) do this? I make a stab at explaining in my just-published CityArts-New York column. But basically, ’cause it’s — yes, hard work, but — fun.

And the Awards winners deserve it! Winners will be tweeted live; see hashtag #jjajazzawards. No streaming video from the event this year, but there will be video documentation posted soon as producer Michal Shapiro can edit it all together. We’re sold out at the Blue Note, but the parties in Boston, San Francisco and Tallahassee are wide open (free to all comers), tomorrow in Gainesville (yes! Jazz action is decentralized, not only in the Big Apple), on the 23rd in Chicago, Schenectady, L.A. and Tucson, 24th in Atlanta and Philly, 28th in Detroit (Auckland was last night, Ottawa was Monday 6/18) — you are all invited.

Like the idea of Jazz Awards? Dislike it (yes, we know the exercise has its flaws, including the somewhat arbitrary nature of proclaiming anyone is “best” at anything)? Well, the JJA is trying to gauge the affect of drawing attention to jazz excellence, and looking for new, focused ways to make the statement. So your comments here are much desired.

howardmandel.com

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