KC Jazz Ambassadors Jazz Winners Celebration Announced

Popular jazz musicians Bobby Watson, Lonnie McFadden, Charles Williams and singer Eboni Fondren received the first annual JAM Musician Awards, presented by the KC Jazz Ambassadors on Tuesday, December 14 at Johnnie’s Jazz Club, 14th and Main in downtown Kansas City.

The UMKC Conservatory Jazz Ensemble entertained jazz fans attending the awards ceremony at Johnnie’s Jazz Club in downtown Kansas City, MO.

The category winners were:

Favorite jazz singer: Eboni Fondren

Favorite Jazz Trumpeter: Lonnie McFadden

Favorite Jazz Saxophonist: Bobby Watson

Favorite Jazz Bassist: James Albright

Favorite Jazz Pianist: Charles Williams

Favorite jazz trombonist: Marcus Lewis

Favorite Jazz Guitarist: Rod Fleeman

Favorite Jazz Organist: Everette DeVan

Favorite jazz drummer: Mike Warren

Additionally, McFadden earned “Favorite Jazz Entertainer” honors and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra was voted Favorite Big Band. The Gem Theater and Green Lady/Black Dolphin were voted favorite jazz venue and club, respectively. And KANU on-air personality Bob McWilliams was named Favorite Jazz Radio Host.

“We thank the nearly 700 KC-area jazz fans who took the time to vote for their favorite musicians in all of these categories,” noted JAM Magazine editor David Basse. “We didn’t know what to expect this first time and were pleasantly surprised at the turnout.”

“A lot of our honorees had gigs or rehearsals tonight so they weren’t able to make it to the party,” said KC Jazz Ambassador board member Linda McShann. “Although we missed them at the awards show, we appreciate that they are carrying on the tradition of KC jazz by going out there and playing their music.”

Nominations for the 2022 JAM Musician Awards will begin May 1, and final ballots will be released November 1.

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