The 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
Runner-up: Nelson Rivera
Honorable Mention: Will Holton
Jazz Alto Saxophone
Runner-up: Dave Schiavone
Honorable Mention: Mike Ihde
Jazz Baritone Saxophone
Runner-up: Harry Fackelman
Honorable Mention: Bruce Johnstone
Runner-up: Jim Bohm
Honorable Mention: Mark Filsinger
John Hasselback, Jr.
Runner-up: Phil Sims
Honorable Mention: Dr. Rick Fleming
Runner-up: Drew Azzinaro
Honorable Mentions: Jared Tinkham, George Kane
Runner-up: Harry Graser
Honorable Mentions: Jim Beishline, George Caldwell
Runner-up: Ron Davis
Honorable Mention: David Pinchoff
Bobby Militello – Flute
Runner-up: E.J. Koeppel – Violin
Honorable Mention: Dave Schiavone – Flute
Jazz Acoustic Upright Bass
Runner-up: Sabu Adeyola
Honorable Mention: Danny Ziemann
Jazz Electric Bass
Runner-up: Jennifer May
Honorable Mention: Jerry Livingston, Bill Savino
Runner-up: Ray Bennett
John Bacon, Jr.
Runner-up: John Anderson
Honorable Mention: Joe Goretti
Jazz Female Vocalist
Runner-up: Drea d'Nur
Honorable Mention: Katy Miner
Jazz Male Vocalist
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
Honorable Mention: Mark Marinaccio and Friends
Jazz Traditional Blues Band
Runner-up: Jony James Blues Band
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
Runner-up: John Hasselback, III
Honorable Mention: Ellen Pieroni, Declan Miers
Jazz Ex-Pat Artist
Runner-up: John Hasselback, III
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
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 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 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!!