DownBeat 87th Annual Readers Poll Winners

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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



  • David_Sanborn_by_C_Andrew_Hovan.jpg

    Sanborn’s highly stylized playing and searing signature sound — frequently ornamented with thrill-inducing split-tones and bluesy bent notes — influenced generations of jazz and blues saxophonists.

  • DonWas_A1100547_byMyriamSantos_copy.jpg

    “Being president of Blue Note has been one of the coolest things that ever happened to me,” Was said. “It’s a gas to serve as one of the caretakers of that legacy.”

  • Century_Room_by_Travis_Jensen.jpg

    ​The Century Room in downtown Tucson, Arizona, was born in 2021.

  • Cecile_McLorin_Salvant_Ashley_Kahn_bu_David_Morresi_copy.jpg

    ​“She reminds me of my childhood and makes we want to cry,” Cécile McLorin Salvant, pictured here with writer Ashley Kahn, said of Dianne Reeves.

  • Bela_Fleck_by_Hazel_Coonagh_lo-res.jpg

    “It’s not like Bach, where you had better play the notes correctly,” Fleck says. “In the case of Rhapsody, it had been done so many ways and with the blessing of [Gershwin].”


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