Announcing The Winners Of The 4th Annual (2017) JazzBuffalo Poll!

Jazzbuffalo pollThe fourth annual JazzBuffalo Poll results are in and the winners of each category are determined!  The poll is a casting of ballots by readers of JazzBuffalo, audiences, fans, musicians, and supporters of jazz.  As we state every year, the poll is not a “best of” from a critic point of view.  Rather, it represents the most important and true measure of what audiences became aware of, liked, and appreciated in 2017.  

This year, the poll registered over 2100 poll ballots casts.  Approximately the same as last year but in a shorter amount of days.  If it were not for a site maintenance issue on the part of the poll provider, we no doubt would have exceeded this number.  Evidence of the growing awareness and appreciation for jazz in the Greater Buffalo arts and cultural scene!  JazzBuffalo thanks everyone for their enthusiastic participation in this year’s poll.  And, for the in-kind support of sponsor Brian Parisi Copiers Additionally, we thank Mike Caputi, proprietor of The Daily Planet Coffee Cafe, and local attorney Anthony Chabala for serving as independent verifiers of the poll results.

On Monday, January 29, we will have a JazzBuffalo Poll Celebration at The Screening Room beginning at 7 pm.  Music for the evening will be provided by The Blue Note 8, which will feature Dave Schiavone on sax, Tim Clarke on trumpet, John Hasselback, Jr. on trombone, George Kane on guitar, Lisa Hasselback on keyboards, Bud Fadale on bass, John Bacon, Jr. on drums, and Tony Zambito on percussion.

This year, we will display the winner, runner-up, and when applicable due to close vote counts, the 3rd and 4th vote-getters receiving honorable mentions.  Congratulations to all the nominees, honorable mentions, runner-ups, and winners!

Announcing The Winners

The 2017 JazzBuffalo Poll Winners, by category, are as follows:

Jazz Tenor Saxophone

Dave Schiavone

Runner-up: Nelson Rivera

Honorable Mention:  Will Holton

Jazz Alto Saxophone

Bobby Militello

Runner-up: Dave Schiavone

Honorable Mention: Mike Ihde

Jazz Baritone Saxophone

Laura Anderson

Runner-up: Harry Fackelman

Honorable Mention: Bruce Johnstone

Jazz Trumpet

Tim Clarke

Runner-up: Jim Bohm

Honorable Mention: Mark Filsinger

Jazz Trombone

John Hasselback, Jr.

Runner-up:  Phil Sims

Honorable Mention: Dr. Rick Fleming

Jazz Guitar

Matt Michaud

Runner-up:  Drew Azzinaro

Honorable Mentions: Jared Tinkham, George Kane

Jazz Piano

Lisa Hasselback

Runner-up:  Harry Graser

Honorable Mentions: Jim Beishline, George Caldwell

Jazz Organ

Joe Baudo

Runner-up: Ron Davis

Honorable Mention: David Pinchoff

Jazz Accompaniment

Bobby Militello – Flute

Runner-up: E.J. Koeppel – Violin

Honorable Mention: Dave Schiavone – Flute

Jazz Acoustic Upright Bass

Ed Croft

Runner-up: Sabu Adeyola

Honorable Mention: Danny Ziemann

Jazz Electric Bass

Jack Kulp

Runner-up:  Jennifer May

Honorable Mention: Jerry Livingston, Bill Savino

Jazz Vibes

Alec Dube

Runner-up: Ray Bennett

Jazz Drums

John Bacon, Jr.

Runner-up: John Anderson

Honorable Mention: Joe Goretti

Jazz Female Vocalist

Janice Mitchell

Runner-up:  Drea d'Nur

Honorable Mention: Katy Miner

Jazz Male Vocalist

Zach Carr

Runner-up: Jack Civiletto

Jazz Classic Group

Bobby Militello Quartet

Runner-up:  My Cousin Tone’

Honorable Mention: What Would Mingus Do?

Jazz Traditional Group

The Hot Club of Buffalo

Runner-up:  Fredtown Stompers

Jazz Fusion Group


Runner-up:  Walter Kemp 3oh

Jazz Latin Group

Wendell Rivera’s Latin Jazz Band

Runner-up:  Sol Y Sombra

Honorable Mention: Buffalo Tango Orkestra

Jazz Big Band

Mark Filsinger’s Eleventet Band

Runner-up:  Ladies First Big Band

Honorable Mention: Easy Street Big Band

Jazz Large Ensemble

Buffalo Jazz Octet

Runner-up:  My Cousin Tone'

Jazz Soul, Funk, Retro, and R&B

Buffalo Brass Machine

Runner-up: Gruvology

Honorable Mention: Mark Marinaccio and Friends

Jazz Traditional Blues Band

Freightrain Parker

Runner-up:  Jony James Blues Band

Jazz Venue

PAUSA Art House

Runner-up: Historic Colored Musicians Club

Jazz Major Performing Arts Center

UB Center for the Performing Arts

Most Memorable Local Jazz Performance

Drea d'Nur: The Spirit of Nina Simone – Kleinhans Music Hall

Runner-up:  Hot Club of Buffalo – Hotel Henry Jazz Concert Series

Most Memorable National/International Performance

Jazz at the Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis – UB Center for the Arts

Runner-up:  Dave Stryker Quintet – Northwest Jazz Festival

Honorable Mention: Robert Glasper Experiment – Buffalo State Performing Arts Center

Jazz CD Release

Buffalo Jazz Octet – Live at Pausa!

Runner-up:  The Hot Club of Buffalo – The Hot Club of Buffalo

Jazz Middle School/High School Educator

Phil Aguglia – Kenmore East High School

Runner-up:  John Hasselback, Jr.

Honorable Mention: Karen Saxon

Jazz College/University Educator

John Bacon, Jr. – Villa Maria, University of Buffalo

Runner-up: Bobby Militello – University of Buffalo

Honorable Mention: Mark Filsinger – Buffalo State College, Dr. Rick Fleming – Buffalo State College

Jazz Rising Star

Harry Graser

Runner-up: John Hasselback, III

Honorable Mention: Ellen Pieroni, Declan Miers

Jazz Ex-Pat Artist

Chris Ziemba

Runner-up: John Hasselback, III

Jazz Crusader

Linda Appleby – Historic Colored Musicians Club

Runner-up: George Scott – Historic Colored Musicians Club

Honorable Mention:  Lazara Martinez Nelson – PAUSA Art House

John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year

Dave Schiavone

Runner-up:  Tim Clarke

Notables From The 4th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll

Notables from the results of the 2017 JazzBuffalo Poll:

  • Dave Schiavone, the highly regarded statesman of jazz in Greater Buffalo, receives this year's John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year Award.  An acknowledgment of his unselfish contributions to jazz and for his outstanding mentoring to us all.
  • In the Rising Star category, we have a first-time winner in one of our most gifted pianists in the Greater Buffalo Jazz scene – Harry Graser.  His versatility has Harry in demand for many different settings of jazz.
  • Drea d'Nur makes the poll for the first time and her performance in The Spirit of Nina Simone wins the most memorable local jazz performance. 
  • The Hot Club of Buffalo had a break-out year winning in the Traditional Jazz category and recognized in a couple of runner-up spots.  
  • Our Ex-Pat Jazz Artist of the Year, a new category, is Chris Ziemba.  Congrats to Chris also for making the Air Force Airmen of Note Band in 2017!
  • The second year of the Jazz Crusader of the Year recognition enables the community to recognize the long-lasting contributions of Linda Appleby.  Linda's efforts with the Historic Colored Musicians Club and her omnipresence as a mentor to our young make Linda well-deserving.
  • The young musicians in the area continue to evolve their contributions to jazz and helping to make our scene one of the most robust in the region.
  • The JazzBuffalo mission of increasing awareness and appreciation for jazz continues to evolve and expand through partnerships.   The past year proved to be a fantastic 2017 of presenting high-quality jazz from both local and international jazz artists. There is more work to be done and 2018 will be another pivotal year of expanding jazz as an enriching contributor to the overall cultural community in Greater Buffalo. 

A sincere and well-deserved congratulation to all the winners, runner-ups, and honorable mentions of the 2017 JazzBuffalo Poll! 

We encourage 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 2018 JazzBuffalo Poll that will be conducted next year,  Continue to support the JazzBuffalo mission to build jazz awareness and appreciation in our community – and continue to support keeping jazz alive in WNY!

Keep Jazz Alive!!

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