JJA Jazz Awards nominees include Rhiannon Giddens, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Mary Halvorson


JJA Jazz Awards nominees include Rhiannon Giddens, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Mary Halvorson

The Jazz Journalists Association has announced the nominees for the 2022 JJA Jazz Awards, including Rhiannon Giddens, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Mary Halvorson and label International Anthem.

Rhiannon Giddens was nominated as Rare Instrument Jazz Player of the Year for her performance on the banjo. Her Grammy-winning album They call me home, released in April 2021, was recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi during the COVID-19 lockdown in Ireland. The two expats found themselves drawn to and comforted by the music of their native and adopted countries of America, Italy and Ireland, which they recorded in a spare studio on a working farm outside of Dublin. The result is a twelve-song album that speaks to the desire for the comforts of home as well as the metaphorical “home” call of death.

Cécile McLorin Salvant was named Female Singer of the Year. She made her Nonesuch Records debut with the release of her new album, ghost song, in March of this year. The New York Times calls it “his most revealing and rewarding album to date”. Uncut says she is “one of the most daring and resourceful singers in jazz – or any other genre, for that matter”. The arts office exclaims: “The treasury of wonders that is ghost song exceeds all expectations.” LP and CD orders from Nonesuch Store include exclusive, limited-edition signed Salvant artwork. may.

Mary Halvorson is up for Guitarist of the Year. Brooklyn-based guitarist, songwriter and fellow MacArthur debuts on Nonesuch with two albums, Amaryllis and Belladonna, due later this month. The two sequels, which Halvorson describes as “modular and interlocking,” come as either a two-LP vinyl set or two separate CDs and digital albums, produced and mixed by John Dieterich. Amaryllis is a six-song suite performed by a newly formed sextet of master improvisers; the Mivos String Quartet joins three of the songs, making it the largest ensemble for which Halvorson has written to date. Belladonna is a set of five compositions written for Halvorson on guitar plus the Mivos Quartet, the parts of which are entirely composed and augmented by Halvorson’s guitar improvisations. Other nominees in this category include Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny, who was also nominated for Jazz Musician of the Year. Halvorson was also nominated for Duo of the Year for her work with pianist Sylvie Courvoisier. Halvorson will perform the music of Amaryllis and Belladonna at the National Sawdust in Brooklyn on May 18.

The international anthem was nominated for Label of the Year. Nonesuch has partnered with the Chicago-born label to release a number of albums, including, so far, two Jeff Parker albums—For the people and Suite for Max Brown—and Ben LaMar Gay Open your arms to open us and that of Rob Mazurek Dimensional Stardust.

The nominees were chosen by the votes of professional journalists who are members of the Association of Jazz Journalists. For more information and to see the full list of nominees, visit jjajazzawards.org.

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