DownBeat Announces 2012 Readers Poll Results
Posted 10/29/2012

Spalding, Marsalis and Krall among winners

The results of the 77th Annual DownBeat Readers Poll are in. Legendary bassist Ron Carter was named as the readers’ choice for the DownBeat Hall of Fame, while bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding was voted DownBeat’s Jazz Artist of the Year, and her critically acclaimed Radio Music Society (Heads Up/Concord) was named Jazz Album of the Year.

Wynton Marsalis topped the Trumpet category, and his collaboration with guitarist Eric Clapton, Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Reprise), took honors for best Blues Album. Diana Krall was voted the top Female Vocalist, and Kurt Elling was honored as top Male Vocalist.

Along with the 34 winners, the poll lists 93 of the year’s top recordings in Jazz, Blues and Beyond. The poll includes more than 700 artists.

“This is the most comprehensive Readers Poll in our history,” said Frank Alkyer, DownBeat publisher. “In an election year, everybody wants to get out the vote, including DownBeat. We had 17,242 jazz fans cast ballots, which is more than double the voters we had last year. It’s an overdue thrill to see Ron Carter get into the DownBeat Hall of Fame and become the final member of that great Miles Davis Quintet to enter the Hall. And it’s a treat to see Esperanza Spalding’s star rise as a leading member of the next wave of jazz.”

The December issue of DownBeat includes in-depth features on Carter, Spalding, Marsalis and Krall, as well as profiles of poll winners Stanley Clarke (Electric Bass), Joey DeFrancesco (Organ) and Trombone Shorty, who won his namesake category (Trombone) for his first DownBeat poll victory.

As if the poll results were not enough, the December issue also has a live Blindfold Test with saxophonist James Carter, plus more than 50 album reviews.

For a complete list of this year’s Readers Poll winners, click here.


Esperanza Spalding (Photo: Patrick Gipson/Ravinia Festival)





Steve Webster—EC Barlow

Jody Jazz






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