Schneider & Washington Among DownBeat Readers Poll Winners


Maria Schneider topped three categories in the 2016 DownBeat Readers Poll.

(Photo: Jimmy & Dena Katz)

DownBeat is proud to announce the results of its 81st Annual Readers Poll.

Bandleader Maria Schneider topped the categories Composer, Arranger and Jazz Album, for The Thompson Fields (ArtistShare), a disc by the Maria Schneider Orchestra.

Alto saxophonist Phil Woods, who died on Sept. 29, 2015, at age 83, has been elected into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. He also topped the Alto Saxophone category.

Kamasi Washington, a key figure of the surging West Coast jazz renaissance, reaffirmed his broad appeal by topping the Jazz Artist category.

Wynton Marsalis is the winner of the Trumpet category, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra topped the Big Band category.

Chris Potter topped the Tenor Saxophone category, repeating a feat he accomplished in 2014 and 2015.

Other winners include Wayne Shorter (Soprano Saxophone), Anat Cohen (Clarinet), Trombone Shorty (Trombone), James Carter (Baritone Saxophone), Jack DeJohnette (Drums) and Diana Krall (Female Vocalist).

The winner for Historical Album is A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters (Impulse!), an expanded box set that features outtakes and additional material related to the recording of John Coltrane’s most enduring work.

The readers’ choice for top Blues Album was Buddy Guy’s Born To Play Guitar (RCA). Guy was also voted into the top spot for the Blues Artist or Group category.

David Bowie, who died on Jan. 10, topped the Beyond Artist or Group category, and his final recorded work, Blackstar, (Columbia), won in the category Beyond Album.

“The results of this year’s poll illustrate a respect for tradition as well as an ethusiastic openness to innovation,” said DownBeat Editor Bobby Reed. “With the induction of Phil Woods into the DownBeat Hall of Fame, we celebrate not just an individual life but also an enduring legacy, one that continues to resonate with young jazz artists today.

“The notion of innovation is obviously important to Maria Schneider, a composer of great depth and clarity,” Reed added. “Aside from leading one of the most talented bands in jazz, she’s also a devoted advocate for artist equity. Readers can learn about her incisive take on the digital music industry in the cover story of our December issue.”

Arriving on newsstands Nov. 15, the December issue of DownBeat contains the complete results in all 34 Readers Poll categories. Additionally, the issue includes features on numerous poll winners, including Washington, Carter and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The issue also includes a special tribute to Phil Woods.

The list of winners is below:


Hall of Fame: Phil Woods
Jazz Artist: Kamasi Washington
Jazz Group: Snarky Puppy
Big Band:Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Jazz Album: Maria Schneider Orchestra, The Thompson Fields (ArtistShare)
Historical Album: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters (Impulse!)
Trumpet: Wynton Marsalis
Trombone: Trombone Shorty
Soprano Saxophone: Wayne Shorter
Alto Saxophone: Phil Woods
Tenor Saxophone: Chris Potter
Baritone Saxophone: James Carter
Clarinet: Anat Cohen
Flute: Hubert Laws
Piano: Chick Corea
Keyboard: Chick Corea
Organ: Joey DeFrancesco
Guitar: Pat Metheny
Bass: Christian McBride
Electric Bass: Marcus Miller
Violin: Regina Carter
Drums: Jack DeJohnette
Percussion: Poncho Sanchez
Vibraphone: Gary Burton
Miscellaneous Instrument: Béla Fleck (banjo)
Female Vocalist: Diana Krall
Male Vocalist: Gregory Porter
Composer: Maria Schneider
Arranger: Maria Schneider
Record Label: Blue Note
Blues Artist or Group: Buddy Guy
Blues Album: Buddy Guy, Born To Play Guitar (RCA)
Beyond Artist or Group: David Bowie
Beyond Album: David Bowie, Blackstar (Columbia)

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