Winners Of The 5th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll Announced

JazzBuffalo is proud to announce the results of its 5th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll.  The poll received over 2300 voting ballots enabling jazz fans and music lovers to weigh in on recognizing jazz artists, groups, performances, and supporters.  Winners were announced at the kick-off of the Hotel Henry Jazz Concert Series on Wednesday, February 13th.  The evening featured a performance by the winner for Best Latin Jazz category, the Wendell Rivera Latin Jazz Ensemble.

Wendell Rivera Latin Jazz Ensemble

The poll results this year is a strong indication that audiences are discovering several trends fueling the jazz resurgence in Greater Buffalo.  The maturing of the youth movement has resulted in the young and vibrant Alex McArthur winning the Best Female Jazz Vocalist category.  While the outstanding Zach Carr wins for the second consecutive year Best Jazz Male Vocalist.  For the first time in the 5 years of the poll, both the Rising Star and the prestigious John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year Awards were won by the same person.  Ed Croft took home the honors for both as audiences region wide have become familiar with his passion for jazz. 

Alec McArthur Wins Best Jazz Female Vocalist

Each year, the John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year Award recognizes an individual that has made a substantial contribution to jazz in Greater Buffalo through individual performance, artistic endeavors, and contributions to the Greater Buffalo community.  Ed Croft also took home the award for the Jazz Upright Bass of the Year.

Ed Croft Wins Rising Str and Jazz Artist of the Year

Other notable trends include the increasing variety of jazz and the contributions of female jazz artists to the Greater Buffalo community.  The Hot Club of Buffalo picked honors in the Jazz-World category.  A new category recognizing the variety of European and World jazz.  Gypsy jazz is a Buffalo favorite.  The Buffalo Dolls and the Ladies First Jazz Big Band and Combo were multiple winners.  Led by Donna Kerr and Jenny May respectively, their collaboration resulted in the Buffalo Dolls/Ladies First Jazz Big Band winning Most Memorable Performance for their “Jazzy Christmas” show at the Hotel Henry in December.  The Buffalo Dolls won honors in the new Jazz-Pop category while the Ladies First Jazz Big Band won in the two categories, Best Big Band and Best Large Ensemble. 

Donna Kerr and Jenny May Win Multiple Awards

Laura Anderson took home honors for Best Baritone Saxophone for the third year in a row.  While Lisa Hasselback, a multi-JazzBuffalo Poll winner, wins for Best Jazz Piano.  DeeAnn DiMeo Tompkins took home the award for Best CD/EP Release for her “Stay Here” project.  And, Linda Appleby takes home for the second year in a row the Jazz Crusader of the Year Award.

“The results of this year’s poll are a great story of what is happening in the Greater Buffalo jazz scene today,” said founder of JazzBuffalo Tony Zambito.  “There is an incredible variety of jazz available today.  We are seeing the maturation of an extremely talented pool of jazz artists.  Led by artists like Ed Croft.  It’s so great to see Ed win both the Rising Star and Jazz Artists of the Year.  Also, it is wonderful to see female jazz artists being recognized.  The results of the poll bode well for the future of jazz in Buffalo.”

The full list of winners is displayed below:

The 5th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll Winners

Jazz Tenor Saxophone – Dave Schiavone

Jazz Alto Saxophone – Bobby Militello

Jazz Baritone Saxophone – Laura Anderson

Jazz Trumpet – Tim Clarke

Jazz Trombone – John Hasselback, Jr.

Jazz Guitar – George Kane

Jazz Piano –  Lisa Hasselback

Jazz Organ – Bobby Jones

Jazz Upright Bass – Ed Croft

Jazz Electric Bass – Jerry Livingston

Jazz Vibes – Alec Dube

Jazz Drums – John Bacon, Jr.

Jazz Female Vocalist – Alex McArthur

Jazz Male Vocalist – Zach Carr

Jazz Classic Group – Bobby Militello Quartet

Jazz World – Hot Club of Buffalo

Jazz Trad/NOLA – Buffalo Brass Machine

Jazz Fusion – Gruvology

Latin Jazz – Wendell Rivera Latin Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Big Band – Ladies First Jazz Big Band

Jazz Large Ensemble – Ladies First Jazz Combo

Jazz Soul/Funk – Buffalo Brass Machine

Jazz Pop – The Buffalo Dolls

Jazz Venue – Pausa

Jazz Major Performing Arts Center – UB Center for the Arts

Most Memorable Jazz Performance  – Buffalo Dolls/Ladies First Jazz Big Band – “A Jazzy Christmas”

Most Memorable International Jazz Performance – Chick Corea Akoustic Band at UB Center for the Arts

Jazz CD/EP Release – DeeAnn DiMeo Tompkins – “Stay Here”

Middle School/High School Educator – Phil Aguglia

College/University Educator – Bobby Militello

Jazz Rising Star – Ed Croft

Jazz Ex-Pat – John Hasselback, III

Jazz Crusader – Linda Appleby

John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year – Ed Croft

(A special thanks to our sponsors for this poll and event, the Hotel Henry and Brian Parisi Copier, Inc.)

Header photo taken by Dan DeLano. A gallery of photos from JazzBuffalo contributor and nominee for Jazz Crusader of the Year, Jack Zuff.

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