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JazzBuffalo Poll Winners in 32 Categories

The results of the JazzBuffalo Poll are in. The online poll has identified the winners in 32 categories.

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

Dave Schiavone

Runner-up: Nelson Rivera

Jazz Alto Saxophone

Bobby Militello

Runner-up: Ellen Pieroni

Jazz Baritone Saxophone

Laura Anderson

Runner-up: Bruce Johnstone

Jazz Trumpet

Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke

Runner-up: Jim Bohm

Jazz Trombone

John Hasselback, Jr.

Runner-up:  Phil Sims

Jazz Guitar

Drew Azzinaro

Runner-up:  Bernard Kunz

Jazz Piano

Lisa Hasselback

Runner-up:  Bobby Jones

Jazz Organ

Brother Perry

Runner-up: Joe Baudo

Jazz Accompaniment

Bobby Militello – Flute

Runner-up: Kyle Yagielski – Sousaphone

Jazz Acoustic Upright Bass

Sabu Adeyola

Runner-up: (Tie) Wayne Moose and Brian DeJesus

Jazz Electric Bass

Jennifer May

Runner-up:  Rishon Odel Northington

Jazz Vibes

Alec Dube

Runner-up: Joanne Lorenzo

Jazz Drums

John Bacon, Jr.

Runner-up: Damone A-Miracle Jackson

Janice Mitchell

Jazz Female Vocalist

Janice Mitchell

Runner-up:  Katy Miner

Jazz Male Vocalist

Shaun Doyle

Runner-up: Jack Civiletto

Jazz Classic Group

Bobby Militello Quartet

Runner-up:  My Cousin Tone’

Jazz Traditional Group

Fredtown Stompers

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

Jazz Venue

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

Jazz Crusader

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, 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

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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