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2010: The Year in Jazz

By Published: January 8, 2011
MacArthur Grant: Pianist and composer Jason Moran
Jason Moran
Jason Moran
b.1975
piano
received a no-strings-attached $500,000 so-called "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Moran and 22 other new MacArthur Fellows were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future. Moran had quite a year in 2010, with his latest Blue Note trio recording, Ten, topping the annual Village Voice critics poll.

NEA Jazz Masters: The National Endowment for the Arts presented its 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Awards to musicians Muhal Richard Abrams
Muhal Richard Abrams
Muhal Richard Abrams
b.1930
piano
, Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
b.1943
piano
, Bill Holman
Bill Holman
Bill Holman

band/orchestra
, Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
Bobby Hutcherson
b.1941
vibraphone
, Yusef Lateef
Yusef Lateef
Yusef Lateef
1920 - 2013
reeds
, Annie Ross
Annie Ross
Annie Ross
b.1930
vocalist
and Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
1934 - 2013
piano
. Jazz producer, manager, critic, and educator George Avakian received the 2010 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy.

Departing from its tradition for the first time in 29 years, the NEA will present one group award in addition to four individual recipients in 2011. The 2011 Jazz Masters will be Hubert Laws
Hubert Laws
Hubert Laws
b.1939
flute
, Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
b.1946
saxophone
, Johnny Mandel
Johnny Mandel
Johnny Mandel
b.1925
arranger
, Orrin Keepnews and the Marsalis Family. Many have already commented over the year about the family recognition for what has generally been considered a lifetime achievement award. Ellis Marsalis
Ellis Marsalis
Ellis Marsalis
b.1934
piano
qualifies for the latter; I'm less certain about sons Branford, Delfeayo, Jason and Wynton.



Monk Competition: Singer Cecile McLorin Salvant, a French-Haitian-American from Miami who is based in France, won the Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
Competition
for Jazz Vocals. Her award includes a $20,000 scholarship and a recording deal with Concord Music. The other finalists in the October competition were Charenee Wade and Cyrille Aimee
Cyrille Aimee
b.1984
vocalist
.



Champion Award: Singer Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
b.1926
vocalist
and his wife, Susan Benedetto, were presented with The ASCAP Foundation Champion Award in December for their "for their longtime leadership in the effort to make arts education a priority in the nation's public schools." In 1999, the Bennetts founded Exploring the Arts, a nonprofit formed to strengthen the role of the arts in American public schools. The organization has grown from serving one New York City public high school in its early years to serving seven NYC public high schools in 2010. It also supports the NYC Department of Education's Summer Arts Institute and produces an educational video series, helping bring master artists into classrooms nationwide. In partnership with the New York City Department of Education, Susan and Tony also founded the public high school, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, which first opened in Bennett's hometown of Queens in 2001.



Essentially Ellington: Garfield High School in Seattle took top honors last May in Jazz at Lincoln Center's 15th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Dillard Center for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale FL and Foxboro High School in Foxboro MA finished second and third respectively.



Eicher honored: ECM Records producer Manfred Eicher received a 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from DownBeat Magazine. The award was established in 1981 to recognize jazz pioneers, entrepreneurs and clarion callers who work tirelessly to connect jazz artists with audiences around the world.



Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros: Paris-based pianist Benoit Delbecq was awarded the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros for his simultaneously released Songlines CDs, Circles and Calligrams, and The Sixth Jump. The prize is the most influential music award in France. Delbecq is the first artist to have won in the Jazz category for two recordings. Previous jazz winners include Steve Swallow
Steve Swallow
Steve Swallow
b.1940
bass
, Daniel Humair
Daniel Humair
Daniel Humair
b.1938
, Joachim Kuhn
Joachim Kuhn
Joachim Kuhn
b.1944
piano
, Tony Malaby
Tony Malaby
Tony Malaby

sax, tenor
and Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard
b.1962
trumpet
.



The Grammys: Jazz-related winners in the 2010 edition of The Grammy Awards included:

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group: Five Peace Band Live (Concord), Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
and John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
b.1942
guitar
Five Peace Band ;

Best Contemporary Jazz Album: 75 (Heads Up), Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
1932 - 2007
keyboard
and The Zawinul Syndicate;

Best Jazz Vocal Album: Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling
b.1967
vocalist
Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman
(Concord Jazz);

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Book One (World Village), New Orleans Jazz Orchestra;

Best Latin Jazz Album—Vocal or Instrumental: Juntos Para Siempre, (Sony Music/Calle 54) , Bebo Valdes
Bebo Valdes
Bebo Valdes
1918 - 2013
piano
and Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes
b.1941
piano
;

Best Improvised Jazz Solo: "Dancin' 4 Chicken," Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard
b.1962
trumpet
, track from Watts (Dark Key Music), Jeff "Tain" Watts
Jeff
Jeff "Tain" Watts
b.1960
drums
;


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