Announcing The Winners Of The 7th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll

JazzBuffalo is proud to announce the results of its 7th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll.  The poll saw nearly 1800 ballots submitted where voting took place in nearly 35 categories. The poll provides an opportunity for jazz fans, jazz audiences, jazz supporters, and JazzBuffalo readers to weigh in on recognizing their favorite jazz artists, groups, performances, and supporters. 

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, jazz found a way to lift up the spirits of the community. Via live streams, outdoor concerts, and the return of indoor events. The variety of jazz in our community afforded many to experience the joy of this uniquely American music.

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.  This year, jazz fans across the region recognized, as their favorite John Hunt Artist of the Year, bandleader, drummer, arranger, and educator John Anderson. John’s contributions through leading the Anderson Big Band, participation in traditional jazz music, encouraging youths to engage with jazz, and organizing community events are notable. The Anderson Big Band was voted as Favorite Jazz Big Band.

Other notable results include the Jazz Crusader of the Year going to Jack Zuff. Jack’s has left a rewarding imprint on our jazz community. Documenting and displaying prize-winning worthy photographs of jazz performances and musicians. This has made a significant impact on how people are perceiving jazz. Damone Jackson’s Outcome had a breakout year and was recognized in the Jazz Fusion Group of the Year category. The Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival this past summer was clearly memorable for many as they recognized both categories of favorite performances. The performances included the George Caldwell Sextet and the Ron Carter Trio.

Elliot Scozzaro for the second consecutive time is recognized as this year’s Rising Star. John Hasselback, III and his CD Release, Entrance, was voted as a favorite new release. Alex McArthur became a repeat winner for their favorite Jazz Female Vocalist of the Year.

“The poll is a demonstration of the continued contribution jazz and JazzBuffalo is making to our community,” said the founder of JazzBuffalo Tony Zambito.  “Never was this more true than during the pandemic. Jazz events provided an opportunity for people to escape the dreariness of the pandemic. And we were able to expose more people to this fabulous music.”

The full list of those voted as favorites in the 34 categories of the 7th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll is displayed below:

The 7th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll Winners

Jazz Tenor Saxophone – Dave Schiavone

Runner-up: Nelson Rivera

Jazz Alto Saxophone – Bobby Militello

Runner up: Elliot Scozzaro

Jazz Baritone Saxophone – Laura Anderson

Runner-up: Harry Fackelman

Jazz Trumpet – Tim Clarke

Runner up: Joe Parisi

Jazz Trombone – John Hasselback, Jr.

Runner up: Theresa Leone

Jazz Guitar – Rick Strauss

Runner up: George Kane

Jazz Piano –  Lisa Hasselback

Runner up: George Caldwell

Jazz Organ – Doug “Trigger” Gaston

Runner up: Joe Baudo

Jazz Upright Bass – Ed Croft

Runner up: Paul Zapalowski

Jazz Electric Bass – Jack Kulp

Runner up: Jennifer May

Jazz Vibes – Alec Dube

Runner up: Joanne Lorenzo

Jazz Drums – John Bacon, Jr.

Runner up: John Anderson

Jazz Female Vocalist – Alex McArthur

Runner up: Donna Delano-Kerr

Jazz Male Vocalist – Zach Carr

Runner up: Jack Civiletto

Jazz Classic Group – Bobby Militello Quartet

Runner up: George Caldwell Sextet

Jazz World – Hot Club of Buffalo

Runner up: French ConéXion

Jazz Trad/NOLA – Barroom Buzzards

Runner up: Back Room Jazz Band

Jazz Fusion – Damone Jackson Outcome

Runner up: Taylor Made Jazz

Latin Jazz – Wendell Rivera Latin Jazz Ensemble

Runner up: Saranaide

Jazz Big Band – Anderson Big Band

Runner up: Ladies First Jazz Big Band

Jazz Large Ensemble – My Cousin Toné

Runner up: Ladies First Jazz Combo

Jazz Soul/Funk – Taylor Made Jazz

Runner up: Carina & The Six String Preacher

Jazz Retro/Pop – The Buffalo Dolls

Runner up: The Hitmen Horns

Jazz Venue – Sportsmen Tavern

Runner up: Pausa Art House

Jazz Major Performing Arts Center – Kleinhans Music Hall

Runner up: UB Center for the Performing Arts

Most Memorable Jazz Performance  – George Caldwell Sextet – Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival

Runner up: Summer Wind: Zach Carr Tribute To Frank Sinatra – Jazz on the Plaz!

Most Memorable International Jazz Performance – Ron Carter Trio – Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival

Runner up: The Tierney Sutton Band – Live at Seneca One Jazz Series

Jazz CD/EP Release – “Entrance” – John Hasselback, III

Runner up: “In Congruence” – Andrew Nixon, Ed Croft, Joe Goretti

Middle School/High School Educator – John Hasselback, Jr.

Runner up: Phil Aguglia

College/University Educator – John Bacon, Jr.

Runner up: Bobby Militello

Jazz Rising Star – Elliot Scozzaro

Runner up: Damone Jackson

Jazz Ex-Pat – Don Menza

Runner up: Carmen Intorre, Jr.

Jazz Crusader – Jack Zuff – Photographer / JazzBuffalo Contributor

Runner up: Walter Kemp III – Historic Colored Musicians Club

John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year – John Anderson

Runner up: George Caldwell

(Note this is a reader and fan poll of favorites and not a critic’s poll of best.)

5 thoughts on “Announcing The Winners Of The 7th Annual JazzBuffalo Poll

  1. Congrats to all, I always, always look forward to my ear candy in Bflo with all of you, outstanding artists and performers. Thank you, Thank you and plz keep sharing your gifts! It brightens my world!

  2. Keep watching, keep listening, keep playing Buffalo…help keep this beautiful American art form of jazz alive…

  3. Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Festival was
    About as good as it gets! What a thrill, and breaking out of the Covid blues…..
    Two unnamed pianists – Bobby Jones, Krista Seddon.
    And, I guess George Caldwell’s wondrous ‘A Love Supreme’ inventions accompanying the improvised ballet of the Brooklyn group was last year.
    And The Pine Grill Reunion- what happened to ‘Straight Ahead’. Houston Person?
    We are so lucky

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