First of all, that’s a lot of categories – thanks to the hard work that all of the folks at JazzBuffalo for orchestrating this awesome feat. For the third year in a row, some of the hardest working and most talented musicians are being recognized for their accomplishments. The poll is an interactive audience based platform that allows jazz fans to pinpoint their favorites in the local industry.
JazzBuffalo thanks everyone for their enthusiastic participation in this year’s poll and for the in-kind support of sponsors Brian Parisi Copiers and The Williamsville Arts and Cultural Committee.
In 2016, upwards of 2200 ballots were cast, which is significantly up from next year. The growing number of participants shows that music fans care about jazz, and the artists that are helping to revive a jazz scene right here in Buffalo.
“The JazzBuffalo Poll is an indication of the growing awareness and appreciation for jazz in our community,” said JazzBuffalo frontman, Tony Zambito. “And, how jazz music and performances are an integral part of the vibrant arts and cultural scene here in Greater Buffalo. A great plus for our evolving resurgence.”
Announcing The Winners
The 2016 JazzBuffalo Poll Winners, by category, are as follows:
Jazz Tenor Saxophone
Runner-up: Nelson Rivera
Jazz Alto Saxophone
Runner-up: Ellen Pieroni
Jazz Baritone Saxophone
Runner-up: Bruce Johnstone
Runner-up: Jim Bohm
John Hasselback, Jr.
Runner-up: Phil Sims
Runner-up: Bernard Kunz
Runner-up: Bobby Jones
Runner-up: Joe Baudo
Bobby Militello – Flute
Runner-up: Kyle Yagielski – Sousaphone
Jazz Acoustic Upright Bass
Runner-up: (Tie) Wayne Moose and Brian DeJesus
Jazz Electric Bass
Runner-up: Rishon Odel Northington
Runner-up: Joanne Lorenzo
John Bacon, Jr.
Runner-up: Damone A-Miracle Jackson
Jazz Female Vocalist
Runner-up: Katy Miner
Jazz Male Vocalist
Runner-up: Jack Civiletto
Jazz Classic Group
Bobby Militello Quartet
Runner-up: My Cousin Tone’
Jazz Traditional Group
Runner-up: The Hot Club of Buffalo
Jazz Fusion Group
Runner-up: The Truth
Jazz Latin Group
Wendell Rivera’s Latin Jazz Band
Runner-up: Sol Y Sombra
Jazz Big Band
Mark Filsinger’s Eleventet Band
Runner-up: Ladies First Big Band
Jazz Soul, Funk, Retro, and R&B
Runner-up: Taylor Made Jazz
PAUSA Art House
Runner-up: Historic Colored Musicians Club
Most Memorable Local Jazz Performance
Fredtown Stompers – Lewiston Jazz Festival
Runner-up: My Cousin Tone’ – Lewiston Jazz Festival
Most Memorable National/International Performance
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman – Buffalo State Performing Arts Center
Runner-up: Philippe Lemm Trio – Buffalo State Performing Arts Center
Jazz CD Release
George Caldwell – Accord
Runner-up: Walter Kemp 3oh – Dark Continent
Jazz Middle School/High School Educator
Phil Aguglia – Kenmore East High School
Runner-up: Matt Schroeder – Cleveland Hill High School
Jazz College/University Educator
John Bacon, Jr. – Fredonia State School of Music, Villa Maria, University of Buffalo
Runner-up: Mark Filsinger – Buffalo State College
Jazz Rising Star – (3 Winners)
Rising Star – Out of Town Student: John Hasselback III
Rising Star – Local Student: Alex McArthur
Rising Star – Breakout Artist: Damone A-Miracle Jackson
George Scott – Historic Colored Musicians Club
Runner-up: Lazara Martinez Nelson – PAUSA Art House
John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year
John Bacon, Jr.
Runner-up: George Caldwell
Notables from the results of the 2016 JazzBuffalo Poll:
John Bacon Jr. is a 3-category winner for Drums, University Educator, and is a repeat winner of the John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year. John continues to be a source of inspiration with his many contributions. John had spectacular drum performances in 2016, played a role in the release of resAUnance Migration CD, was the drummer on George Caldwell’s Accord CD, and mentored the John Bacon, Jr. and Jazz Current group to memorable performances.
In the Rising Star category, the three top vote-getters fell neatly into 3 distinct categories representing students who are out of town but return during summer and breaks to perform, local students who perform regularly in Greater Buffalo, and post-graduate breakout artists. Winners in that order were John Hasselback III, Alex McArthur, and Damone A-Miracle Jackson.
Repeat winners include Bobby Militello, Dave Schiavone, Lisa Hasselback, Janice Mitchell, Laura Anderson, John Hasselback, Jr., Alec Dube, John Bacon, Jr., Gruvology, Mark Filsinger’s Eleventet, and PAUSA Art House.
The Lewiston Jazz Festival, in its 15th year, has grown in attendance and produced two of the most memorable performances noted in 2016 by the Fredtown Stompers and My Cousin Tone’.
The new category of Jazz Crusader of the Year enabled the community to recognize the long-lasting contributions of George Scott, through the Historic Colored Musicians Club, to the jazz, as well as, arts and cultural communities of Greater Buffalo.
Leaving an imprint on the jazz scene are the up and coming young jazz musicians in Greater Buffalo. Bringing an energetic vibrancy to jazz performances throughout the area.
The record number of nominees and ballots cast are an indication that the JazzBuffalo mission of increasing awareness and appreciation of jazz is being fulfilled, yet, a journey ahead remains. 2017 will surely bring growth, more jazz artistry, and many more memorable performances.
JazzBuffalo encourages all to visit JazzBuffalo.org, sign-up for the Jazz In Town email newsletter, get out and see great jazz, place jazz artists and groups who made an impression on you in nomination for the 2017 JazzBuffalo Poll that will be conducted next year, support the non-profit organization’s mission to build jazz awareness and appreciation in our community, and continue to support keeping jazz alive in WNY!
Keep Jazz Alive!!
*On Saturday, January 7, the first ever JazzBuffalo Poll Awards Concert was held at The Meeting House in Williamsville featuring the Jacob Jay Quintet. The young but polished quintet consisted of rising stars who most surely deserve to be in next year’s JazzBuffalo Poll. The ensemble featured Jacob Jay on trumpet, Dalton Sharp on saxophone, Zack Steinberg on bass, Jake Malone-Brancato on piano, and Stephen Lattimore on drums.
Lead image: John Bacon