The inaugural Jazz Music Awards may have set an awards show record for the longest gap between taping and finally being televised. The show was held on Oct. 22, 2022, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta. It will finally be televised on Monday, Jan. 1 — more than 14 months later.
It will stream on demand that day on PBS Passport. It will also air on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB)’s nine stations – WGTV-TV (Atlanta/Athens), WNGH-TV (Chatsworth), WMUM-TV (Macon), WJSP-TV (Columbus), WACS-TV (Dawson), WABW-TV (Albany), WVAN-TV (Savannah), WXGA-TV (Waycross) and WCES-TV (Augusta) – that day at 7 p.m. ET.
It has taken so long to get the inaugural Jazz Music Awards on TV that the producers blew right past the planned date of the second Jazz Music Awards, which they had indicated would be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.
“We are grateful to partner with Georgia Public Broadcasting,” Wendy F. Williams, the founder and executive producer of the Jazz Music Awards and the general manager of 91.9 WCLK, an NPR-affiliated station, said in a statement. “GPB is an excellent home for the Jazz Music Awards, and we look forward to building a national platform with PBS and its 150 affiliates. GPB presented us with a great opportunity to broadcast and stream our program around the world.”
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“GPB is excited to partner with WCLK [an NPR member station] to broadcast and stream the Jazz Music Awards,” said GPB CEO Bert Wesley Huffman. “Through the years, we’ve found ways to collaborate that deepen the value of public media to our respective listening audiences, and The Jazz Awards offer a perfect opportunity to strengthen the partnership between GPB and WCLK while providing a wonderful platform for this treasured art form.”
The Jazz Music Awards is a two-hour awards show celebrating all forms of jazz — traditional, contemporary, vocal, instrumental, and experimental. The show was co-hosted by Dee Dee Bridgewater, a 1975 Tony winner for The Wiz and a two-time Grammy winner, and Delroy Lindo, a 1988 Tony nominee for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
Under the musical direction of four-time Grammy Award winner Terri Lyne Carrington, the show featured performances by Dianne Reeves, Kenny Garrett, Orrin Evans, Ledisi, Somi, Lizz Wright, Braxton Cook, Brandee Younger, Jazzmeia Horn, The Baylor Project, Lindsey Webster, and Bridgewater. There were also musical tributes to the late Ramsey Lewis, Pharoah Sanders, Joey DeFrancesco and Jaimie Branch.
Carrington’s band consisted of keyboardist Ray Angry, trumpeter Milena Casado, alto saxophonist Braxton Cook, pianist Orrin Evans, Saturday Night Live bassist, James Genus, drummer and percussionist Nikki Glaspie, percussionist Gerson Lazo-Quiroga, electronics, DJ/percussionist Kassa Overall, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Mark Whitfield, and drummer Carrington.
The awards ceremony recognized winners in eight competitive categories. We reported on the winners at the time. You can read who won here or watch the stream and be surprised.
The lifetime achievement award was presented to the late Wayne Shorter. The legend award was presented to the family of the late McCoy Tyner. The three recipients of the awards of distinction were Pulitzer Prize-winner Henry Threadgill for the jazz composer award; avant-garde jazz trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire for the jazz innovator award; and former U.S. Jazz Ambassador Dr. Lenora Helm Hammonds for the jazz educator award. Additionally, jazz professor James H. Patterson of Clark Atlanta University received the jazz impact award.
The Jazz Music Awards is a nonprofit division of Jazz 91.9 WCLK, located on the campus of Clark Atlanta University, the HBCU (Historically Black College and University) which is the owner and licensee of WCLK.