DownBeat 87th Annual Readers Poll Winners


Hall of Fame ​Kenny Barron has been a model of grace and elegance for more than six decades.

(Photo: Michael Jackson)

The readers have spoken in the 87th annual DownBeat Readers Poll, handing a triple-crown victory to Jazz Artist, Bassist and Producer of the Year Christian McBride. The poll results appear in the December 2022 issue of DownBeat.

Pianist Kenny Barron, a model of grace and elegance for more than six decades, was elected to the DownBeat Hall of Fame.

Guitarist of the Year Pat Metheny’s Side-Eye NYC (VI.IV) was voted Album of the Year, handing the perennial readers’ favorite a double win.

Snarky Puppy, the jazz-funk-rock-world juggernaut led by Michael League, was honored for the third time as Group of the Year.

Readers bade a fond farewell to the late Joey DeFrancesco by voting him Organist of the Year one final time.

In addition to those awards, readers bestowed the Historical Album of the Year award upon John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle. Buddy Guy won Blues Artist of the Year honors, and Keb Mo’s Good To Be … won Blues Album of the Year. Jon Batiste was named Beyond Artist of the Year, and Robert Glasper’s Black Radio III won Beyond Album of the Year.

Click HERE for the complete DownBeat 87th Annual Readers Poll listings. DB

  • 23_Village_Vanguard_Joey_Baron_by_Michael_Jackson_copy.jpg

    “Bill Stewart has nothing to prove,” Baron says. “I aspire to that ethic.”

  • 23_Charles_Lloyd_1_by_Dorothy_Darr.jpg

    “At this point in my life I’m still looking for the note,” Lloyd says. “But I’m a little nearer.”

  • McBride__Kahn_copy.jpg

    ​Christian McBride and writer Ashley Kahn meet for a DownBeat Blindfold Test hosted by New York University’s Jazz Studies program.

  • Samara_Joy_%C2%A92023_Mark_Sheldon-4639.jpg

    Samara Joy brought fans to their feet in the middle of her Newport set!

  • Christian_McBride_by_Ebru_Yildiz.jpeg

    ’You can’t simply book a festival with things that you like,” Christian McBride says of the Newport Jazz Festival. “You have a responsibility to present up-and-coming artists who people don’t know yet. And you have to get people in the seats.”